Not only has 2014 begun, we are well into its second month. Storm after storm have left mounds of snow in the Northeast. Our wonderful neighbor Tom rescued Cherisse last week by pulling her car out of the snow (and then plowing the driveway). Icy snowbanks (now covered with layers of grime) line New York City streets making navigation difficult. And still…the days get longer, the seed catalogs beckon, and the new year offers promise.
It helps, of course, to have stepped out of day-to-day life by visiting my friend Luis’ home in Mexico. A Rhode Island resident, Luis’ mother, brothers, and extended family all live in the Guadalajara and Tuxcueca areas. Luis and his brother Carlos have been making tequila, nurturing the agave plants for the 10 years needed to yield the sweetest piñas which are then roasted and eventually distilled into a fine liquor meant for sipping, unadulterated. They have bottled a Reposado (aged in wood barrels for up to a year) which Luis is working to get exported to the United States. An Extra Añjeo has aged for three years and is ready to be bottled.
Like many dreams, this one is fraught with hardship and nearly insurmountable challenges. Yet they keep working, weeding the plants by hand, trying to create a market for the product, always thinking, planning, adjusting. Many people juggle so much and yet what these brothers have accomplished seems nothing short of miraculous. What struck me the most was the love and strength of this family’s bond…and the power such a bond has in overcoming adversity. Love may not conquer all, but it can carry you pretty far.