A Vineyard and Life Lesson

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Flaky rock.
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I climbed this and didn’t hurt myself.

The hardest thing about living on the farm in Argentina was how disconnected I was from everything and everyone. So much of the work that I am doing right now is Internet dependent. Also, it was extremely cold, mostly at night (it’s winter in South America). I’ve never been more thankful for hot water and wool. On any given day, I was layering practically half of the clothes that I packed.

One of my favorite tasks on the farm was managing the vineyard, and by managing, I mean cutting a bunch of branches. However, it wasn’t as easy as I initially thought it would be. It was quite rigorous work. Although, it was peaceful. My directions were simple: trim the branches to create a single trunk with two main branches and three smaller branches that grow from the two. I thought, “I can manage that.”

Then the (existential) questions crept in: How do I know which branches to cut? How can I cut the branches that will yield the most (and best) fruit?

The fact is you don’t know. You do your best and keep in mind the vines’ need for balance and nourishment. I approached this task in a similar way that I approach creating sculpture. The only difference is that the vines are living things and even with the most cautious of care taking, the results are not up to me.

I’m still learning how much of life is that way too.

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A little friend stopped by while I was working in the vineyard. Half horse, half mule.
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The family garden where most of the produce is grown.
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These vines will be full of grapes in several months.
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My work space…a large rock. I would sit here on my days off and catch up on reading/writing.
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Prepping the guest house to be repainted, with my most important gear: headphones.
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A painting from a catholic museum in the town square of La Rioja.
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Detail of a painting at the catholic museum in La Rioja.
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I always feel like cactuses are giving me the middle finger.
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Centuries-old stone.

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