During this current economic crisis which touches all of us in one way or the other, I have come to understand more about the good things in life, and about what’s truly important.
When I’m in the city during the week, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all there is to DO. We all have things to do, and this is what I call, responsibility. Fortunately, there is a place I can escape to where my mind is immediately set at ease.
It all begins as I drive my truck east from the coast, and away from city turmoil. A quick glance in my rearview mirror brings a sudden smile to my face as the buildings slowly fade into the distance, and I leave them behind. Quickly, I punch the accelerator nearly to the floor eager to leave the “cement world”. As I drive further along, I’m delighted to see the rolling green hills of the wine country come in to view.
The view is breathtaking. Finally, as I pass the last winery which lies directly on Hwy 3, the curvy mountain road begins. Majestic oak trees, sycamores and quiet ravines come into view. Timeless mountains which protectively surround the narrow winding road.pave the way towards my land of solitude, of peace and tranquility: my personal heaven on Earth.
It’s not long until the truck’s wheels finally hit the dirt road. Automatically, I sink deeper into my seat, as my entire body begins to relax. The first things I see are miles of mountains, and wide open spaces. A herd of sheep stand grazing in the fields nearby. My truck continues to race along the road. Although I know every bump, and ditch to avoid, sometimes I miss, but no matter, my trusty truck, and I surge ahead!
With only one more mile to go, finally I slow down because I no longer feel the shadow of pressure behind me. I drive up that last hill, and on my right I see our horses grazing peacefully on the hillside. As I push on, my truck bumps and jolts all the way. Finally I reach our valley, and my blood pressure goes from “too high” to steady and smooth. What I see below is our own patch of heaven. I have to drive very slow going down, but that’s okay because it allows me to take in the view. I see the same hillsides, and the same trees every time, but somehow each time I drive down that road, it’s just like the first.
The sage is in full bloom, thanks to the rain, the plants are green, the hillsides, and oak groves too. I see the rooftops of the cabins, and the barn. A horse playfully charges across the corrals. My horse in fact, he must be feeling good today. Water is running in the river, and at night the sound of the running water lulls me to sleep. I think to myself, how lucky we are to have such a beautiful place.
I think the greatest gift we can give in return for the gifts we receive is to share this them with other people. I believe for the gifts we receive in life, we must always give something back. Sometimes it’s easy to forget this when we get caught up in our daily routine, all the DOing, and the pressures of daily life. I feel very fortunate to have somewhere I can go to relieve this pressure, and recharge my battery, and both Raul and I feel very fortunate to be able to share it with others.
There’s no denying it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth while. All of it! When we see delighted smiles on people’s faces during their stay with us, and when we think of all the friends we’ve made over the years, and when we see people peel away their layers of stress, it brings great joy to our hearts. It’s remarkable how suddenly they come into contact with the good things in life which often they might have forgotten about due to the race of the daily routine. This is when we realize all the hard work we’ve put into creating Rancho La Bellota is definitely worth it, and that’s what it’s all about!