The Richness of Struggling

In El Dorado County California are the wineries of the Sierra Foothills. Among these is Lava Cap with one vineyard at an altitude of 3300 feet, it is one of the highest in California. It’s soil is ashy from ancient volcanoes and the hills have a sharp incline. All these things work together to force the vines to struggle to take root. Thus, Lava Cap is able to produce some very intense, flavorful grapes.

The Mourvedre grape is a southern Rhone red grape usually used in a blend. Lava Cap offers it as it’s own wine. The color of the wine produced is a burnt red with aromas of orange blossom, dark cherry and a little pepper. The wine has soft tannins and a nice heat at the finish. As promised by the soils, it’s a very intense and structured wine.

As my children explore their myriad interests, I see a marked difference between my son and my daughter. Maybe because he was born first, but more likely just because of the nature of his personality, things seem to come very easily to my son. Everything he tries, he does well in. I don’t think it’s because of all natural gifts. Like the old adage, the harder I work the luckier I get; the more my son practices, the more talented he becomes. He has a lot of focus and works hard at everything. Because of this, he never seems to struggle. Everything seems to come easily to him. My little girl on the other hand, struggles a lot. Part of it is because she doesn’t have the focus that my son has. She tries, but gets easily frustrated, and gives up quite easily as well. One thing she has not given up on is ballet. She started when she was three and has been taking classes, now for six years with undaunted enthusiasm. She has never been the standout in the class. She has never gotten lead parts or any sort of special recognition, but she continues because she loves it.

Every year her dance studio recognizes one student, as dancer of the year. This year, that award is going to my struggling daughter. I know she is not the best dancer in the school. But her teacher feels she has shown the most improvement, and most importantly, the most heart. Just like the mourvedre grape planted in ashy soil, her struggling has made her achievement all the richer.

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