There’s a place in Italy called Pretena. We’ve been fortunate to have lived there for more than a decade now. We were drawn to the spiritual quality of that spot overlooking the Italian countryside and valley below, dotted with ancient castles, villas, farmhouses, vineyards and countless olive groves. Mostly, we enjoy the rolling meadows surrounding our place. Every evening we walked through the grasses and colorful flowers, admiring the views and the natural Tuscan feel as if centuries had passed unchanged.

Then one day, Antinori, a centuries-old family-owned Tuscan winery bought the meadows and began turning them into vineyards. The land was the perfect elevation and position for growing white grapes, and there was significant acreage all totaled, nestled between the old tree lines and deep woods. Suddenly, everything about the magic place called Pretena began to change.

We were apprehensive at first, not wanting our natural Tuscan landscape altered, but as we shifted our perspective and opened to the possibilities, we warmed to the inevitable changes. Soon, the flowers and grasses had turned into row upon row of beautiful vineyards that also change with the seasons. The contrast of the new geometric order, verses the untouched natural meadows was striking and in some ways, even better.

We called it a turning—for the age-old meadows and for us as well. It was the end of an era that was familiar and beloved, but also the beginning of a new phase that promised to be vibrant and every bit as beautiful—just in a different way.

Life is full of such turnings, as we open ourselves to the inevitable changes and move with them rather than resist. Our lives then take on a quality much like the gently rolling Tuscan hills that surround and embrace each of us who comes to visit for a while.



So many changes, autumn brings
Summer’s gathered grasses
Baled mid-July
Wait to go

All around their edges
The woods are cleared and tidy
Reborn as new vineyards
In the springtime

Once rough, rolling woods turned to fields
Then hard work tamed and turned them to grassy yields
Finally tilled

With care, one day our fields will
Turn to wine

So many changes, autumn brings


From Borne Album

Track released – 8.8.19

Cheryl Martlage – Lyrics, Vocals and Production

Emerson Martlage – Music, Guitar, Vocals and Production

Inspiration – Planting vineyards around our home