Spring in My Step
Season of renewal bursting with potential
In Margaret Atwood’s collection of short stories, “Bluebeard’s Egg,” she writes, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
I couldn’t agree more.
As the ground warms and the sunbreaks last longer, many of us in the Willamette Valley head outside, taking inventory of moss-covered everything, trimming water-logged lawns — after trouble-shooting the hibernating mower — and making initial plans for this year’s garden.
Yes, hands are dirty, but hearts are full with the promise that spring always brings, especially in the vineyard.
Finished with winter pruning, winegrowers await much-anticipated bud break. Protected by a thin, spiderlike web of cottony fibers, the buds swell until — like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon — leafy shoots appear. The growing season thus begins.
So much potential in each and every bud. So much more to be accomplished in the winery before the vines require far more attention.
Taking wine from tank and barrel to bottle is no easy task, as it is a fast-paced, high-pressure undertaking. If it’s dirty hands in the vineyard; it’s dog-tired hands — arms, legs, etc. — inside the winery.
As welcome as it is, spring is no cakewalk, yet, the pluses far outweigh the minuses, which brings me back to dirt.
Whether planting a seed or pulling a weed, there is something so satisfying about sticking your fingers down in the soil.
Atwood would agree with Leo Tolstoy; in “Anna Karenina,” he writes, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
So true, Leo. Finally, it’s time to get our hands dirty.