Saturday, 23 August 2014

Things of Summer - Vineyard Tours

I am so lucky to live in a place like Toronto where just beyond its borders lies bountiful vineyards. The last time I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake it was the dead of winter. The February weekend Ajay and I went we found the town sleepy and deep in snow.

"Do you feel like grabbing lunch in Niagara?" He asked me the other day. I jumped at the chance to escape from the hectic city.

We went up, the four of us, as a bit of a last hurrah to Summer. The day could not have been more perfect, especially if you consider what an abysmal summer we've had in Toronto this year.

We went for lunch at Vineland Estates and found ourselves staying for much longer than planned. I, at the very least, was charmed by the old Mennonite architecture and breathtaking views. We took a tour of the cellars and saw rows and rows of humongous french oak wine barrels, examined bottles older than myself and sipped inspiring reserve wines.

After the most delicious 3-course meal and impeccable wine pairing we wandered. It was a chance to be youthfully curious once more, and take in our surroundings. A chance to bask in the warm sun of August.

Sam is far too photogenic. We took the opportunity to laugh and be girls and to compare her self-proclaimed "southern Italian skin" to my hopelessly pale complexion.

It's odd, in a way, how hard it is to slow life down. But how rewarding. It was almost surreal to be in a place so still -- I kept expecting to here a siren blare. I rarely take the time to disconnect; I find I'm always stuck behind one screen or another, whether it be for work or for leisure. As I walked among the vines I found myself feeling more at ease. I suppose nature has a soothing effect for my constantly anxious mind.

But most of all I was happy to reconnect with the man I love. I will be unabashedly candid here and say that my relationship has recently been difficult. We were fighting more than we should have for quite some time. And then one evening as I sat curled at my end of the bed I told him I was unhappy. The shocking thing was it never occurred to me that Ajay could be unhappy too. I don't know if it was selfishness that blinded me, or my own unhappiness, but when he told me that he was unhappy too my heart sank. I was overwhelmed with an acute feeling of failure. I was upset with him because I wanted more love. More tenderness. But I realize now that in order to bask in the love of another I should be giving equal amounts if not more... And I wasn't.

I am one who runs away. I have, in the past, viewed relationships as a tug-of-war, or a battle of who can care the least. But I didn't want that this time. I went into my relationship with Ajay ready to be honest and I had lost sight of that.

We spoke deeply that night and then took the weekend apart to reflect. When we came back to one another I saw him again as the man I love. We each took to heart what the other had to say and allowed it to shape our behavior with one another.

We live in a world where giving up is so easy, but taking the time to work it out has been infinitely rewarding.

Our path has been anything but straight, but I'm happy to be walking it with you.

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