Napa Valley

The Wappo Indians named this beautiful fertile land and they lived in harmony with bear, elk,deer and even panthers. The rich, lush soil attracted white farmers around the 1830's and by the 1870's they and their smallpox had wiped out these fascinating and harmonious indigenous peoples. One can still feel the connection between man and earth in these verdant vineyards and rolling hills. The views are spectacular and the sense of peace pervading your being is tangible. For me the 10 days I spent in St. Helena at my parent's home was a time for healing and thinking and a time to realize the fierce and never ending love of a Mother. In the quiet misty mornings my Mother and I would talk about family secrets and cry over losses and change...getting older for her, growing up for me.
I don't think there is any place I have been of late which fills me with such peace, you can feel the Native spirit in the sound of the new baby birds trying their wings for the first time or the plaintive wail of the coyotes at night. I saw young deer eating my Mother's roses and I couldn't resist watching instead of shooing them away. One morning I awoke at dawn to swim and found a dead baby bird in the had left the nest too soon, it's wings were not strong enough yet to fly. I felt a kindred spirit to that little bird on this trip. I left home at 15 and I think sometimes that instead of becoming more mature I am regressing to the little girl I was never allowed to be, perhaps my wings were not as strong as I thought they it was good to be in the arms of my beloved Mother.
Many of my friends have parents who are ailing, it's part of being our age I suppose but it doesn't make it any easier. To see someone who was once so vibrant and alive become slower, hard of hearing..a bit forgetful and unstable on their feet is devastating. My Mom said to me "Claudia, getting old sucks." I would like to think that parts of it are still fun but I have to agree with does suck.