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  • Writer's pictureJamie Foley

The Vineyard

April 9, 2021

Spiky, brown and orange, we cut hardened canes from cordons -- what to me -- look like king crab legs. We throw the spongy, jointed clippings in the aisles, to rake in dry weather. Those legs lie in jumbles, like pick up sticks amongst brown, flattened grass.

Spring swells from the ground, offering up corpses of bull frog and mice, geese fly at grand heights overhead, squawking. I pull dried tendrils from my hair and wipe sunscreen from the inside of my ears.

We're in a stretch of 50-degree weather in March already. We'll have pruned 50 percent of the vineyard by today's end. It feels good to be outside.

Last week we worked in 20-mph winds. In-between gusts of air warm, it felt like we were out to sea again, those high waves that battered us around, inconsequential, meting ourselves against mother nature years ago, testing our strength and survival.

I wouldn't have worried, if I didn't think you were enjoying yourself as much as you seem to be now, leaning into the wind out amid these rolling vine rows, of crusty snow that stopped holding our weight since yesterday, a misstep and we find ourselves against a wire, stumbling to right ourselves once again.

Exhausted, I sit on a patch of wet ground. Looking up to blue sky, I see the waxing moon there. So strange to make it out in daylight. I am grateful for bird song and peepers. Another spring and early memories find me here, of childhood, breathing. My bones ache. I am tired, but it is a good tired.

Soon we will go inside for wine and supper, take showers, let the dogs out one more time before the sun sets. We settle into this rhythm together, as we have done in various ways during the course of our lives thus far -- entwined, inseparable -- yet still, inconsequential -- marking time on this fragile, spinning blue globe.


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