It started with one bare-root stick, a special hybrid grape that promised to do well in this cool,wet climate. It survived. The next season, I bought another. This summer, I will have even more. Grapes may not ripen at all. But the leaves will grow big and sassy in their sheltered spot.
I've been dreaming of this for a while, longer even than a rose garden.
How stubborn we are!
I'm recreating my childhood experiences back in my Italian hometown. Grapes, olives, figs and pomegranate played a big part in our vineyards Oh, I should be contented with blueberry, marionberry, cranberry. Instead, I'm thrilled with all the artichoke plants that grow from the mother root and in a few weeks, I will use the tiny fruit in my spring risotto.
The irony? I didn't like grapes and figs and artichokes when I was young.
Now, I'm imagining an enormous grape arbor, shading tables and chairs for dozens of guests.
A free-standing pizza oven would magically produce the pizza I've been craving for years in a Mediterranean courtyard. Music and song and merry friends will be transported to another place and another time, days of wine and pizza and song and family, all gathered after the harvest.
To people who declare that we shouldn't mess with native ecology, I say, how else will we know if something can survive?
We are all survivors on this big planet, moving from one place to another, not always willingly, always hopeful that something in the new place will remind us of home. You see, we left home in a hurry, and we couldn't dismantle and take it with us!
To those who say that if you don't like it, go back to where you are from, I say, how far back? How many of us can say our ancestors never moved to someplace new? We are all nomads. We are all homeless.
Deep in the recesses of our soul, we crave to recreate that place we call home. We continue to explore and adapt and learn to do without the very things that have shaped us, and at the same time, we surround ourselves with many things that remind us of our real home.
How about you?
How do you surround yourself with reminders of home?