Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harvest Blessing

Before life turned him into a vintner, the Rev. John Staten taught academic theology. Nearly 40 years ago, he was my partner's adviser when she was an undergraduate. Now he annually offers a blessing of the harvest at his family's Field Stone Winery in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley. This past weekend, we were privileged to join a group of Staten friends and fans for the annual celebration.

The program for the gathering offered a text:

There is a reality in blessing. It doesn't enhance sacredness, but it acknowledges it, and there is power in that. I have felt it passing through me.

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

I found it easy in this setting to drift off into the beauty of the land.

After song and reflection, we all shared grape juice so fresh it tasted alive.

Katrina Staten chatted with her guests.

The Alexander Valley was quiet and bountiful on Saturday afternoon.

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