In fact, I am tired, sore, especially since I also loaded up a few wheelbarrows of rocks and began to patch a couple of washouts on the vineyard road. Seemed like the perfect use of my time and burger energy.
After those chores, I worked, row by row, vine by vine, checking on the little shrubblers, irrigation emitters that frequently get blocked by the mineral build up. I rub off the minerals, twist the little buggers, and work hard to ensure each vine gets the chance to drink.
The air was mild, the wind lay low. I saw a giant scorpion scamper as I shoveled up his rocky home. I told him sorry to be a bother, but he was gonna have to find another place to take a nap.
The vines are going dormant. They don't feel all the way asleep. We have had some real cold snaps, but it takes some time, since we also have intermittent days of seventy plus degrees that keep the blood flowing. I need to do the harsh pruning, but they are not ready yet. In another couple weeks? Early next month? We will work as a team, the owners and I. If we were to prune before the plants went dormant, it would put the vines into shock and they might die. Being dormant means that all the life energy is down in the roots, and we can do our work which will allow healthy growth systems once spring arrives.
Seems like when I was in church work, a lot of talk went on about pruning during hard times. About how it was all for the good.
And yes, pruning is necessary if we wish to see fruit. Hard pruning. Eliminate what looks like almost all the vine pruning.
That said, something is niggling at me. Like maybe there are times we justify harsh actions, call it pruning, comfort ourselves with the hope that the amputation will lead to greater fruit yield.
What if some amputations are amputations? What if we sit, watching our friends or family members bleeding, hemorrhaging, and think that it is all for their good, thank god for the pruning, and wow, what fruit to come...when in fact, what they (maybe we) need is emergency care, binding up of wounds, time to rest, in a quiet place, until we heal or at least adjust?
Hmm. I want to think more on this topic. And hope that I will be careful and mindful. I don't think our creator is an unkind deity, lopping off our vines, indiscriminately. At this point, it is easier for me to think of God as the great, big, mysterious "more" than we can imagine, out there, in here, all encompassing. Not the old man with a white beard flowing, sitting on a big throne.
I love these days of tending the vines as they put themselves to sleep. The leaves are gone, the laterals are twisty, curly, cursive scrawls. When pruning is done, the curls will be gone, all become shorthand. It requires a great deal of faith. After this summer, being constantly behind, feeling like I would never catch up with the tying and trimming, I have a lot more faith. Those vines know how to grow! Especially when we feed them and water them and the sun continues to shine.
By the way, I have two lovely windrows of compost working away. We will sprinkle it, toss it, make compost tea out of it for foliar spray.
I almost listened to a lie I told myself yesterday. Just for a few minutes I started to believe what I was feeling. It didn't take too very long to remember the truth. I had to remind myself several times. The cheeseburger was a hug to myself and it felt great. My son's friend made it for us. I got one for my dad and one for a girlfriend. It didn't fix anything, kind of like a bandaid. They don't fix anything permanently, but there is a place for them! And for yummy, juicy cheeseburgers. Especially when doing hours of hard, farm labor!
Tomorrow, a half day shoveling mulch, a half day working in the bakery.
For now, time to take an ibuprofen and crawl into bed, clean, thankful, and happy for the 20 minutes writing challenge! Tomorrow makes two weeks! Do I have to stop? Crazy. How about 21 days? That would be a bigger challenge. And a good way to incorporate my former practice back into a current practice.