Dec 27, 2018
by deTraci Regula
As we approach the New Year, I am praying that we all get to experience an abundant, “normal” year - preferably one without fire or smoke from fires, near or distant. Right now, I am grateful for the rain which has come on relatively slowly, letting the earth and our Great Tree here at Isis Oasis Sanctuary take a nice, long drink without fear of anything flooding or washing away.
We are in the quieter time of year, but that doesn’t mean everything is completely asleep. Our brightest springtime greens actually show up now, in winter. While most of the flowers are still asleep, the grasses are growing and covering the hillsides and providing a sharp contrast to the vines, some of which are only now surrendering their bright red and brown leaves. Though I don’t like driving in it, I love the sounds of the rain on the road. It’s also the season of mist and fog. One evening, coming home along Highway 101 under the full so-called Super Moon, the entirety of Alexander Valley was filled with a low-lying fog. It looked like an ocean, rising right up to the illuminated River Rock Casino which resembled a big cruise ship on top of this perfectly smooth sea of fog.
Our annual Holiday Harp Concert was well attended and as usual, a delight to all who were present. It feels like we are well “tuned-up” for the coming year. But while passing out flyers about the upcoming concert, I had an interesting experience. I approached a mother and her three daughters coming out of shall we say a major local discount retailer to the south of us and gave them a flyer, asking them to please consider coming to our harp concert the next evening. The youngest, a girl of about thirteen, asked, with honest curiosity, “What’s a harp?”
I was visibly startled by the question, and her older sister chimed in “It’s kind of like a violin, right?” For the next couple of minutes, I attempted to describe a harp, drawing it in the air with my hands and trying to convey a sense of what it sounds like. Of all the comments I expected to hear - “No, I don’t want your silly flyer!” or “Don’t bother me, I’m busy shopping for Christmas!!”, this was definitely not one of them. I know that arts and music education funding is always the first to go, and has been diminishing to microscopic levels for years, but nothing has ever brought home to me what that can really mean. These were bright, fashionably-dressed teenagers headed to a nice car accompanied by a parent - in short, by many standards, they were among the lucky ones. But somehow, they had apparently never been introduced to this common instrument which is shared by cultures worldwide and is among the most ancient of instruments. We are already reaffirming our commitment here to bringing more cultural events to Isis Oasis, but this simple encounter makes me feel that we all may have a real duty to increase our efforts to make sure that the younger generations get to experience more of music and the arts while they are indeed still young.
A number of Geyserville-area wineries will be participating in this year’s 27th Annual Winter Wineland to be held January 19-20th. Trentadue, Trione, Locals, Virginia Dare, Zialena, and Pedroncelli are just some of the local venues participating in this fun annual event. Advance tickets are required. You can buy tickets and get more information at the Wine Roads site at https://www.wineroad.com/events/winter-wineland/. For maximum enjoyment, consider staying overnight in Geyserville for the event - members of the Geyserville Lodging Association will be happy to help with that - swing by the website for a wide variety of options.
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