As you proceed through your day, how often do you look at the things around you?

To push this question a bit further, how often do you look for diversity in your life, look for beauty in nature or look for something different than the usual? How often do you look?

Of course, when one looks, one must see and therein sits the problem. Looking is easy but seeing takes attention and imagination.

I was reminded of this while attending a wedding in Massachusetts. During the ceremony, the presider asked the bride and groom to look into each other’s eyes and imagine what that person looked like as a teenager, as a 20-something and then what that person would look like as they progressed through their years together.

At first, people laughed a bit, then they smiled and as the age progressed, it became silent. No matter the depth of feeling, how does one know what a person will look like over 30 years in the future?

Obviously, the lesson being taught was that by seeing, you’ll look into the future together — we don’t stay young forever. We look differently. We act differently. What binds us together is the ability to see each other in the moment and to know we will change. It’s in that knowing change that we experience true emotion — the wedding love becomes real.

During the evening’s festivities, I pondered that order to “look” and soon realized that without looking, we can’t see many things — we must look at nature to enjoy it. We must have courage to look to the future as we face an impending health situation. As I was thinking, a new friend sat down beside me and he began to talk.

He has a solid career in journalism but he feels the need to start writing short stories. I asked the bartender for a couple of pours of Havana Rum and we began to talk. We toasted each other with our rum pours and both of us said how delicious the drink is with its sugary aroma and vanilla and brown sugar tastes. As he talked, I looked into his eyes and I saw passion.

He wasn’t sure how to begin writing, when to do it and what to say. As I looked at him, I saw another person a number of years ago who felt the need to write, but experienced the same uncertainties and our conversation became intense — like the rum. Our talk ended with me giving him the advice to write — don’t hesitate — write your story and then look at it as a beginning.

That night at the wedding dinner I had the fortune to be look at two very interesting bottles of wine from Argentina. Our tables were set with a bottle of Bodega Chacra Cinquenta y Cinco Pinot Noir and a bottle of Bodega Chacra Mainqué Chardonnay.

The Pinot Noir was very smooth and soft with a minimal fruit aroma and a nice cherry taste. The Chardonnay was very minimal, too. It had a nice gentle creamy aroma with just a bit of creaminess. Both wines paired nicely with the trout and lamb chops main dishes as well as with all the appetizers and desserts –­ way too numerous to mention.

The evening was getting late and our wine glasses were empty so we retired to a quiet room away from the hubbub of the dancing and partying and enjoyed the companionship of old and new friends. The wine flowed freely and everyone was enjoying the moment but what was interesting was how we looked out for each other. Nobody was allowed too much partying but plenty of talking and laughing was encouraged.

The next day everyone convened for some coffee and pastries as we said our goodbyes and gave the newly married couple many good wishes. We joined some family members for a noon lunch at a very nice local restaurant where I enjoyed a Caprese burger as we sat with our daughter and her family. It’s nice to read to our grandson — he looks so much like our daughter that it reminds me of reading to her just a couple of years ago!

It was time to hit New York State Route 2 and drive back to Albany where we would stay the night before catching a flight back home. Naturally we had to eat dinner and there was good old Trinity Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon beckoning to me from the wine list. My Minnesota Nice kicked in and I ordered a glass of the juicy wine and it enriched my taste buds with tastes of vanilla and black cherries. It not only looked good but it talked to me with passion.

I thought back to the newly-married couple and my new friend who wants to write short stories and I believe all of them had the same look of love and hope in their eyes. As I sat at the restaurant table, I noticed a sign hanging on the wall and here’s what it said.

“Give me coffee to change the things I can and wine to accept the things I can not.”

I’m glad I looked at it.

Next week, what’s it worth to you?

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!



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