Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The greener the better, Napa Valley

The greener the better. Sounds like it's becoming some sort of a new epidemic or something. It's not just for vegetables anymore, because the greener, the healthier, but it's revolutionized itself into keeping our environment and lives into a healthier state of being.

Napa Valley has become a haven for rest and relaxation for many and it's not just because there's a lot of wine around.

To me, Napa Valley has become a home and a place to which I hope to come back and retire. (Maybe it'll even be affordable enough for us to buy a house...but that's just wishful thinking). It brings all sorts of memories (because I went to school here for five years) and new experiences to which I can't wait to add to my non-existant checklist. The weather is pretty great --as good as it can get living in California. Today we had 90+ degree weather. It's supposed to get into triple digits later this week. However, we normally have awesome weather.

So what makes this wine country a haven for rest and relaxation and an incredible place to live?

You can't deny the gorgeous views from spring through fall, when a sprig of grapes here and there in early spring turns into miles of wine grapes. Although the smell of wine grapes can be mesmorizing and almost sickening around September/October, it's quite an experience to be surrounded by millions of grapes that make Napa Valley the incredible place that it is.

So far, living in wine country has been fantastic. It's really great checking out the mom-n-pop places as well as going out to eat at a few new and inexpensive places. Even though at times I dislike driving 30 minutes to work each morning, it's really exciting and relaxing seeing rows and rows of green grape vines. Who knew that green could be so pretty? If you get it just right, the many colors of the sunset combined with luscious wine grapes makes for spectacular views.

People come from all over the world to get a breather in this area. Even locals get relaxation. Some go to spas, others drink wine. I like driving through the valley and trying to capture the views through my camera as best as I know how. There's something about driving, getting a little exercise and seeing new places that gives me a renewed spirit. Somehow the few hours that I spend outside gives me energy for the rest of the week.

It's comforting to know that there are people who care so much about the environment so much so that the phrase recycle-reduce-reuse has taken on a whole new meaning. If we learn how to take care of what's around us, places like Napa Valley can continue on and renew other peoples' spirits.

As I drive home from work I am reminded each and every day that God is incredible. He created and designed everything that is around us...all that we can and can't see. After all, He did tell us to take care of ourselves and the environment.

A few weeks ago at church the pastor was talking about what it meant to be green; and he wasn't just talking about the environment. The following phrase stuck with me ever since it was put up on screen:

Create in me a green heart oh God.

If that doesn't take on a new meaning, I don't know what does.
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