Once upon a time there was a valiant lady who won a great challenge. Her reward was to select the theme for the subsequent challenge, one that would allow the competitors an opportunity to momentarily set down the burden of their duties, have a cup of nectar and pick up a quill to pen their tales.
Alas, for our faire heroine, she could not succeed in setting aside the yoke of responsibility. There were always too many things to do, from the minutia of day-to-day life, to helping rebuild her modest abode, to working ye olde nine to five.
She dreamed of a grand adventure, one where she could relinquish the responsibilities of adulting and see more of the world. Her village, which she affectionately dubbed the small town that thought twas a big city, was beginning to feel confining. She had travelled before, and longed to see the cities of her past again, like Barcelona and Aix-en-Provence. There were others she only dreamed of—Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens—cities rich in culture and history, born centuries before her country, which was caught up in zealously boasting its 150 years.
One day, she and her husband made a decision: in four years time, they would take leave from their respective occupations and travel the world. They would buy a sailing vessel and go where the wind took them.
So for four years, all their decisions kept the plan in mind. They bought an abode and converted it to a three-family dwelling. They bought a sailing vessel in the isle of Saint Martin. They stashed their coins to have something to live on once they were no longer gainfully employed. They began selling their possessions, hosting sales of the yard, and donating to those in need.
They made sacrifices in the name of their dream. They worked hard. And all the while, they drank wine, for it brought them pleasure. That sweet, sweet nectar was their reward after their endlessly busy days, when they would come together as the sun set, open a bottle and share their oft-ridiculous stories from the day over a glass or two. She eventually undertook to study it in an effort to further her appreciation of the drink. And she began penning a wine log on what they called the interwebs, a wonderful, yet frightening power, a thing of witchcraft that connected people all over the world and housed knowledge and facts and fake news, among other things.
As the day of their departure approached, their lives intensified. They worked even harder, they rid their schedule of superfluous tasks and events, they buckled down to complete the finishing touches on their dwelling, make preparations to get their remaining belongings to the boat, reserve their lodgings and modes of transport in Europe, and generally get their lives in order before they departed on their adventure.
It was an overwhelming time of busyness. It seemed like each time she struck something from her list of tasks, a new task quickly took its place. And in that time, she found herself missing her much-loved wine logging, which had been temporarily set aside along with other pastimes. She also felt great guilt for not being able to participate in the wine writing challenge, particularly after she had spent so much time concocting a theme that would encourage the creativity of the participants. She hoped that, like her, they were just busy with other vital things and not rebuking her theme.
At the same time, she knew that in just a few fortnights, she and her bridegroom would be on the adventure of a lifetime. Perhaps they would not get through their constantly evolving lists of tasks, but by then, they likely wouldn’t care. They would finally be reaping the reward of their long-sustained efforts. And she knew that her faithful readers could withstand her brief logging pause, for it meant great posts to come. After all, she would be visiting some of the oldest and greatest wine-making regions of all the world.
Therefore, here is the moral of the story: so many of us wait for our fairy tale to come true. But we are the only ones who can truly make it happen. It’s just a question of knowing what you want and going for your happily ever after.
This post is being submitted to the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (#MWWC33). As you may recall, I won last time, and chose this month’s theme of “Once upon a time” in an effort to encourage everyone to get a little more creative. Be sure to read the other entries here and vote for your favourite! Also, thanks to Jeff of the Drunken Cyclist for extending the deadline!
Update: I have just discovered that the winner is not eligible for the following month’s challenge, which despite bumming me out a little, makes total sense. Ah well, it was great writing exercise, and I still encourage you to go read the other entries!
P.S. As you can maybe tell from not-so-implicit excuses in the story above, I may be MIA for the next little while, but you can bet I’ll be back with lots of exciting stories after two months of wining and dining in Europe! Stay tuned!