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Struck by lightning

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Struck by lightning | story.one

LinkedIn reminds me that a friend is celebrating quite an anniversary.

In 2005, Chris hikes up a mountain and comes down as another man. On the hike, he gets struck by lightning. Theoretically, a decent exit for a man who has up to this point lived what we could label “Life fulfilled”. He has found his calling and a fabulous reputation as a top wine maker. He has travelled the world and found love. He´s a husband and father. His soul lives on solid spiritual ground and he is a pillar of his community. Quite a guy to hang out with. Stuff that Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are made of. What an obituary it could have been!

Chris survives. As his friend Jerry might say: There was more in the cards for him. So, what is the “more”? This story is not authorized by Chris. It´s my personal reflection on the “why” and “more”.

I guess, getting re-set by lightning, being “pruned to the core” and finding your way back into life makes you rethink about what you really want the rest of your journey to look like.

Lightning to help heal, redefine direction, create new momentum? What falls off can be left behind. Dead cells from our bodies, dry leaves from a tree. When lightning strikes, it can be your exit or a chance to live up to the highest, best version. As the Persian poet Rumi says: The wound is where the light enters.

Kintsugi is the Japanese philosophy of repairing a loved item by purposefully highlighting the cracks in solid, precious gold. Don’t hide what´s broken. Celebrate the learning, the gain from the process of breaking, mourning and healing. It´s the cracks that make us whole and alive. It´s the cracks where the Gold of our Soul may shine through.

Up to this hike, Chris has been scrutinously experimenting with a certain grape on a certain vineyard for a number of years. Searching for excellence while creating award-winning wines for renowned labels of the region. There´s always a voice inside urging him to make his very own wine. Two years after the hike, he fulfils his dream.

I´m no wine expert. But here´s what I understand: the older, the better. The harder the roots work for water, the richer the palette. The more thoughtful pruning, the higher the quality. The deeper the roots, the bigger the soul of the wine.

With his shell cracked open, Chris has dug as deep as it gets. He has a story to tell. He lives to tell his story. He tells it in his very own language. That language is wine. He names his wine AD VIVUM. That is AD, “toward”, for direction. As long as we´re on our journey, we are always going somewhere. Even when we are lucky enough to find a sense of belonging and home, we are constantly growing, pruning, striving for something higher. VIVUM is Chrissish for the marriage of wine, Latin “vinum”, and to live, “vivere”. Simple and to the point. The core, the soul, the bliss. Nothing to be added. Nothing to be taken away. Chris's Story is OUR story. Chris's wine reminds us of the eternal life that shines through our cracks and carries us along.

Here´s to LIFE. Happy Birthday, AD VIVUM!

© Beate Brigid Schilcher 2022-06-24

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