Why do we do it?

My brother and I had a talk.

To say we don’t see the world eye to eye would be a truthful statement, but we are still brothers.

That’s easy to say but sometimes hard to live. Why is that? Why do we do it to ourselves?

Is it because we live differently? Yes, to a degree but we still have the same black dirt under our fingernails from growing up on the same family farm. Do we see things differently because we don’t talk to each other enough? Possibly…but I keep coming back to the question of why do we do it to ourselves?

After leaving the farm, his history was different than mine — we’ve each had our knocks and bruises as we traveled life’s highway. However, history keeps us together and gives us a sense of pleasure.

During our talk, he mentioned the latest election and he tossed out a hook. I didn’t bite on it but began to talk about our our roots and how we have such similar stories about doing what’s best for everyone and the environment. His tone changed as I reminded him that, although we have different views on life, we are family. Nothing, but nothing, beats that!

We started to talk about who we are and not about what we’ve become. About where we find pleasure and peace rather than where the differences exist. We didn’t gloss over our differences but they seemed less significant when we reminded ourselves of who we really are and why we do the things we do.

After we finished our conversation, I was left with a number of thoughts. Maybe it was time for an in-person sibling meeting — well, not today but hopefully soon. How does the family come together and realize we are all in this current state of affairs together? How? How? How?

Then a thought came to me.

What we as a nation and family are experiencing now is the continuing story of humankind and all of its foibles, faults, successes, pains, joys and hope. Everyone of us can give a personal story about our issues but I would like to draw a parallel between my family and the world of wine.

Why do people enjoy a glass of wine? I like to reduce all of the answers to that question to a couple of subjects — history and pleasure.

The history of wine goes back over 7,000 years ago to the hills of Eastern Europe. Vessels which were used to hold/make wine have been discovered there and from those areas, wines began their journey around the world. As my family’s ancestors went west for a better life, so wine traveled west for more opportunities and richness.

Wine making flourished in Europe due to climate and wine producing techniques but, most importantly, because people enjoyed the sight, smell and taste of it. It wasn’t too long (Remember we’re talking the history of humankind here) and wine root stock jumped the Atlantic Ocean to land in the Americas and more varieties developed that allowed humankind to find more pleasure in a wider variety of wines.

Shortly thereafter, wine jumped the Pacific Ocean to land in Australia, New Zealand and surrounding countries and a whole new population found pleasure in the history of wine. It didn’t take long before the circle of wine was completed by new varieties being grown and classic varieties being given root again in Eastern Europe.

Were there a number of challenges for wine’s journey around the world? Of course, yes! Just like my family having a number of challenges in our life’s journeys but, and here’s the biggie, we find pleasure in life from each other. We are family.

As we enjoy talking with a family member, we enjoy that terrific taste of wine. Both give us pleasure — the sounds of their voices and the sound of the wine being poured into a glass.

As we enjoy seeing each other, we find pleasure in looking at a beautiful bottle or glass of inviting white wine or a ruby red wine.

Yes, even smell comes into play with our family, right? Think of that perfume someone wears or that family member who, it seems, could always use a shower! We experience them via our noses in the same way we sense the pleasing aroma of our favorite wine.

Basically, we gain pleasure from our family and from our favorite beverage. I always picture one of my siblings in a wine but that’s grist for another day!

So, why do we do it? We live with our family because they are family — let the person without fault throw the first stone, right? We live with wine because, like our family, it gives us pleasure, hope, history and a sense that the circle of life continues.

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



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