Baba Visits My Winery
Harvest was happening; it was September of 2015. This day wasn’t a usual day by any means. Usually, the winery is very busy during harvest with employees either processing grapes or monitoring the progress of the cider production. It is a rare day for just one person to be at the winery, and on this day it was me, alone at the winery. The rest of the employees and my husband had gathered that morning at a remote apple farm to do some picking and were gone for most of the day.
It was a peaceful morning, and at this time of year, during the middle of the week, the tasting room is usually quite so I decided not to open the tasting room and concentrate on doing an outstanding cleaning and organization of the winery.
I had already been over to the winery and opened up the large upstairs doors to the bottling room when I decided to run next door to our house to get some cleaning supplies. I wasn’t gone that long. Upon returning, I heard our two dogs barking, in a friendly way, down in the picnic area below the winery. Immediately, From a distance, I gazed down there to see what they were up to. They were playing with this young man. Just a side note, I usually am concerned about the dog's behaviors, the younger one will sometimes be very aggressive to strangers, but they were having fun with this guy. So I think maybe he is here to taste wine. As I turned back to the winery and walked to the bottling room, I see leaning up against the doors a very tattered backpack with an even more tattered small child’s blanket sticking out of it and a wood walking stick leaning on the door. Now my mind became active. “Whoa this is a homeless person, how did they wonder this far up the road.” “I'm alone, will I be safe?”. Fortunately, and immediately I knew I was being tested. I knew and also realized that I was letting my mind jump to fear and I stopped it right then and there. Talking positively to myself I told myself just to start working and see what happens when this character comes upstairs to get his stuff.
No sooner than saying that to myself he appeared. He was in his thirties, tall, skinny, blonde, barefoot, with worn-out clothes. He had a foreign accent and obliviously not from here. I'm a little apprehensive when our conversation begins. Of course, I start with small talk to feel this person out to see if he was ok, meaning sane. There was something different but weird about this character. He would say he doesn’t need shelter because the elements take care and other beautiful stuff but then under his breath he would have this grumble or quite growl while he was trying to capture his words. Sort of like someone with Tourette’s Syndrome. So my emotions were from…ok, this person is very connected to whoa maybe I'm being too trusting talking with this guy. I was guided to ask him who his teacher was because of his profound moments of wisdom when he was talking. He immediately said, “Nature is my teacher.” Immediately in my head, I utter “Baba?”.
Aware of his situation I ask him if he would like some food and how long would he be here. He looks kindly at me and says; “No, the churches around here have provided.”and “ I’m just wandering”. He starts to walk out the doors towards the driveway and he says “I like the energy here.” Once again I ask if there is anything he needs, like a blanket or clothes. But he says he is ok. At this point one of the young men that work for us just arrived and stood next to me we watch as this barefooted man continues walking up the driveway, he turns and says once more; “ I like the energy and will return.” I turned to our employee saying, just so you're aware he says he will be coming back. Just wanted to make sure this homeless person wouldn’t be scared away by the guys, especially my protective husband. We both turn our heads to look back up the driveway at this guy, and he was gone. The road leading down to the winery is much longer then it took for this mysterious man to possibly walk that quickly or even run to disappear from our view. My employee and I were both a little shocked by that. When I turned back around towards the large double doors of the winery, I noticed that he had left his walking stick.
This young man never appeared again at the winery. Moving forward it is May 2017, and I am contacted by UCBK, Alx Utterman to see if I could house and take care of their Baba murti for a short period. At first I'm a little reluctant in my head. Knowing it is a responsibility to care for Baba and to have a nice spot for him to be happy. His home with us here at the winery was going to be temporary until they have a new home for him in Southern California, LA.
So much was happening at once. My beautiful children bought and constructed a meditation yurt in the back of the winery a few weeks before Baba arrived. Some of my lovely friends started coming to a meditation class I was holding there weekly. It was the perfect place to place Baba next to this spot. The night before this Baba statues arrival, Baba blessed me in a beautiful dream about taking care of him.
A few months after Baba was settled in at the winery I was sitting peacefully in meditation in front of this beautiful murti of Baba, and I heard clearly in my head him telling me; “I told you I would be back.”
Much love and gratitude for being in my heart always. Om Sai Sri Sai Jai Jai Sai!