Happy Days Are Here Again

b2Image by: Johnny C Y Lam © www.johnnycylam.com

Image by: Johnny C Y Lam © www.johnnycylam.com

“Happy Days Are Here Again”. The tune penned by Ager and Yellen in 1930 is stuck in my head. Roosevelt and his Democratic party used it shamelessly as a campaign medley for many years, but mostly, it is remembered as a sort of theme song for the repeal of prohibition. The significance isn’t lost on me as I watch the bottles fill one by one with ruby coloured liquid. Pinot noir has not graced our cellar for some time. Not since the unusually warm spring of 2012 which woke our buds early. Too early. That April night, Mother Nature arrived with a decidedly wicked temperance bend and unleashed frost. Only barren vines remained in her wake.

At times I despised her. Hated her with every fibre of my being. I’d want to shake my fists at the sky above me and berate the unfairness and treachery of her actions. You bitch, I’d want to yell with all the strength and fury I could muster. Except, I wouldn’t. I shift uneasily. Generally, I try not to wish anyone harm. Although there have been some notable exceptions, in this case it is not some higher moral stratus in which I try to perch myself. I am not blithely turning my check. An undercurrent of unease washes over me. I smell something. An unmistakable odour. One I remember as a child when I thought a ghoul lived under my bed. Or the smell that could paralyze me while I waited for my school bus. The same bus that safely carried my neighbourhood bully towards me. Later in life, this odour came and went. The smell could linger around an office table as I waited for a job interview or while I stood in line at customs and immigration coming home from abroad. Yes, I recognize that smell. We never forget the smell of fear. I am not the superstitious type. Frankly, not even religious. Still, somehow, in these modern times, I fear her. I fear what she could do to me. What she could do to anyone. So, I do not think ill thoughts of her. No, Mother Nature is far too dangerous.

Today, I hum that tune. We have lots of bottles to fill with pinot noir. Friends have come to help us. Johnny tirelessly drives the corks into the bottle while Kate, his lovely fiancé, masters the bottle filler. With a deft hand she loads up the bottles while we all gossip and laugh. We desperately try to keep up with Kate’s speed and Johnny still finds time to photograph and capture the moment. Jens shoots me a smile. We are lucky to have friends. Lucky to have wine. Mother Nature was not vexed. Yes, happy days are here again.

b5Image by: Johnny C Y Lam © www.johnnycylam.com

b1Image by: Johnny C Y Lam © www.johnnycylam.com

b7Image by: Johnny C Y Lam © www.johnnycylam.com

b8Image by: Johnny C Y Lam © www.johnnycylam.com