It’s February And It’s Shad, Shad, Shad

It’s February and it’s shad, shad, shad.

I read that in a book of humorous essays by Jean Kerr when I was a child and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve finally found a place to use it.

It’s the depths of February and here in the Midwest it’s gray and dreary, the brief sunshine yesterday already a wistful memory. Dull brown leaves still clinging to gray and black branches are the only color to be seen outside. The pines trees are doing trying, but their green needles are dark, drooping dispiritedly from the weight of clinging ice. The snow has melted and frozen, and melted and frozen, and now sits in dirty clumps littered with twigs, bits of dirt, and tree bark. But that will be remedied soon because a snowstorm has started. Lovely to see, millions of tiny flakes careening through the air, but temperatures will drop again and there are more gray days ahead.

What Shad, Shad, Shad Means…

 Despite the movement of snow, this gives a feeling of being stalled, stuck in place, waiting for something. Which exactly matches where I am. I have several projects I want to move forward. One of these, a wine class that soon ends in a graded test (!), has necessarily claimed much of my current attention. But that doesn’t stop the other projects from screaming to be worked on even as I re-memorize wine regions, wine faults, German Pradikat levels, grape characteristics, and serving temperatures (among countless other things).


 I turned to my wine fortune telling cards * for insight. Anyone who is struggling with plans and schemes being interrupted, hampered, or blocked, this is for you, too.

 The cards drawn are Zinfandel and Riesling.

 What does this mean?

 Zinfandel is the grape of independence, rebellion, and innovation. There is exuberance, energy, and strength here but much of this journey will be on your own. A reminder that creating/designing/inventing/ building has power, but that motivation will come mostly from the architect of these dreams to generate the momentum.

 Riesling is the grape of misunderstanding, charm, and rules. Credit is deserved, but not always given. Projects and plans are commonly misread or underappreciated. Riesling is also a grape of discipline, needed to keep moving forward-even a slow pace gets you somewhere. And to ignore the negative voices-particularly one’s own-and to keep on task. Important to remember that the turmoil endured can bring great rewards. There is promise for greatness here.

 Interestingly, both grapes are of the solitary type. Zinfandel is happy for company, Riesling attracts all kinds, and both have a wild streak, but neither do well with collaboration.

Have A Glass of Wine and…

Listen to the wisdom of these grapes. Ignore the doldrums, find the energy even in the shad-ness of February. Acknowledge that sluggishness is common. Appreciate the progress that has been made, even if it’s just the idea, or a couple of baby steps. Don’t dwell on the twists, turns, and mountains that are certainly ahead. Find the willpower to continue even when it’s boring, even when it’s frustrating, even (or especially) when there is no encouragement. Reward, though not promised, is attainable.

* From the Wine Fate Fortune Telling Cards

Thanks for Willamette Valley Vineyards and Dry Creek Valley Vineyards for being my models. 

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