On a March Wednesday, after the first day the red Merlot and Shiraz grapes were picked, I was lucky enough to witness a spectacular sight. I had gone home after work full of grape juice stickiness and earwig and mouse itchiness to have a hot wash-away shower. I went back to the winery to use the Internet, but with a frustratingly low connection, I left with a worth-while experience.
Check out this sunset.
Is this for real? yes.
Just minutes passed as I walked by before the deliciously vibrant flavors of the sky were licked up and swallowed by the sunset. I could not be luckier.Then I got home and took off my sweater, and still found an earwig attached to the shoulder of my shirt. Hmmm. Still worth-while.
I don’t know how many pictures have been unrelentingly taken of the sunsets putting the Piscataqua River to sleep while waking up the nightlife of downtown Portsmouth. The early jet-lagged morning sunrises over the Dunfanaghy Golf Course bringing eastern promises of rain or sun to the Northwest coast of Ireland. The bike rides around Colorno that were stopped to absorb the sight of the clouds sweeping the culatello-weathered smell of Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano across Emilia Romagna. The runs to the Indian Ocean timed perfectly as the heat of the sun disappeared into the water with the sun. The northern, very westerly clouds leaving Monkey Mia smeared like FunFetti vanilla frosting against the baby-blue sky that sweetly reminded me of skinny days of scooping spoonfuls directly out of the tub as an afternoon snack.
If it's not the people or the food, it is the sky that will remain in my memories.
Recently, as in since I've been at Frankland Estate for the last month (a month!), I have caught myself noticing they sky more than a couple times a day. At four in the morning when the moon is still lighting the night’s sky with the still-present stars, it confuses the sleepy hour of having to start work. Then later the sun starts to rise over the vineyard warming the grapes awake from the cool night. No picture I have taken has yet to capture the colors that make the early morning work hours worthwhile. Then, during the day as I walk to and from the winery along the dirt road and in between the vines, I twirl in place searching for a cloud amongst the blanketing blue sky above and around me. Not a cloud in sight. I envision a satellite or spaceship over me, looking down and having clear access to be able to see the remote, isolated Frankland River region with pristine precision. Me, barely a speck. Or when I'm standing in The Spot of mobile reception talking to John and Sheelagh, I look up at the sky in the dawn light or dusk sky and wonder what the sky looks like where they are, 12 hours behind. And if the timing is just right when I leave the winery after my dose of Internet communication with civilization or after a beer with the guys, I get my own sunset each night to marvel at as I walk home. This private show usually lasts the duration of my walk home, gradually disappearing behind the vines and stealing one last glimpse of the fading color specturm through the trees for myself before I step inside. Other times I share this with Felix as we sit on the couch that we moved out onto the veranda, watching the sheep chew their way across the field in front of us, the wind blowing a cool night breeze, the sound mice scampering across the wooden boards, and the spiders lurking somewhere. We have the best front row seat to watch the array of colors slowly blend into a single black backdrop of Jackson Pollocked-stars, so crystal clear they pierce not only the sky like sprawled sparkling diamonds on a black velvet tray in a jeweler’s shop, but sharpen your utter disbelief that you are witnessing such a sight. I'm not exaggerating, people.
Ok ONE MORE I swear!
I heard in the Outback you can see the sun setting in one direction, and then you turn around to the east at that same moment and can see the moon, the night sky, and the stars already out for their nocturnal postings. I can't wait for that.
If it weren’t for the prickly dry grass and the looming presence of night critters, I would totally go out and lie in the field and stare up into the sky until the sun rose again. But, unfortunately, that sheer fear of creepy crawlies will keep me safely on the veranda, home to it’s own zoo of Western Australian creatures.