Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Clippety Thicketry

This past weekend we were wending down the ever-winding Highway 33 on our way to an auction, when we again passed through the village where Leo and Leona formerly owned a tavern (Leo and Leona were and still are locally famous for that tavern); and there we saw that the rows of grape vines, unruly-looking only weeks ago, are now trimmed and ready for the new season. The vines are obviously older than ours. This makes the contrast even greater than it is in our vines, between the twisty-gnarled trunks and the spindly remaining branches.

It was hard for me to accept how severely a vine is to be pruned, to maintain vigor. The vine's incredible growth during the summer seems a wonderful achievement: so how ungrateful and unappreciative it seems, to take the steel nippers to that boisterous botanical accomplishment, that wild-hair tangly jumble of vines ... and to do so sneakily, just when the grape is for all purposes looking the other way -- during that long winter nap.

To the eye, the thickety unclipped wildness looks like it will burst forth luxuriantly in spring -- which it will, indeed, given the chance. Yet you discover that the spareness of the pruned-back vine bursts forth with luxuriance enough -- and in fact with an appropriate luxuriance, since the vineyard's reason for being is the growing of fruit as opposed to greenery.

I grew abundancies of leaves on some vines, last season. As opposed to fruit. In other words, I was still in the process of accepting this necessity.

Cheers ...

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