November 1st, 2019
Dear Casa Carmen Family,
A house is, as you know, not a home until people make it a home. Our house has been our home for the past few years, as we have spent endless hours filling it with memories and meaning. We have cried and laughed in it. Our girls have spent their lives in it. We have worked the land around it, patched up old plaster and repointed brick. We have planted trees and pruned vines. We have lived in it.
But a house doesn’t completely become a home until its doors are open to its community. This is the most significant moment in the life of a home, because it is its true culmination. It is the moment in which its inhabitants don’t just live in it, but bring it to life. It is the human moment par excellence, as it is the time when we gather with the sole purpose of celebration, when we share food, drink and place so we can enjoy leisure together. The house then is no longer just a shelter or a fancy nest; a cave or a den but a home, a human home.
This was the great significance of our last Wine Club Dinner. Between string lights, old brick and magnolias, voices filled the air of the night and our home was more alive than ever, and it was because of you—and not just those who were physically present, but the great Casa Carmen family, the entire community of people that make this bucolic dream a human reality.
The secret rhythm of life crafted this momentous dinner with uncanny precision, because it happened in the fall, towards the end of harvest, which is that time of the year when people have been gathering for millennia to do precisely the same thing that we did two weeks ago: feast and celebrate, eat and drink of the bounty of nature, whether it is fermented or smoked, raise a glass and laugh together. We, our entire community, live closer to nature than much of our contemporaries, and living closer to nature is also living closer to human history. We are, after all, not doing anything too different than what humans have been doing since the beginning of time, which is extraordinary.