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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grape Leaves.


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?




18 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles....we have a grape arbor in the back and harvest tons of grape from it each year....i love grape....i love having fruit trees...i grew up with pear in the yard...and cherry...i have pear now as well...but no cherry...hmmm...the brick oven pizza sounds delicious....

i dont know that i am trying to recreate where i came from...i think in some sense the isolation of where i grew up might be nice in todays world a bit but then again i love my city...that i never had growing up...

ellen abbott said...

Well, I never really left my home environment. But I do have a fondness for pansies and azaleas from when I was growing up.

yaya said...

We had a lovely grape arbor growing up and because I'm Greek we had delicious dolmades made with the tender grape leaves. A grape arbor is on my "to do" list. My sister has been dying to put in an outdoor oven for years and I think she may do it this year. My Grandmother made homemade bread weekly in an outdoor oven in the courtyard of their Chicago apartment back in the depression age. My Mom said you could smell her wonderful, fresh loaves all over the neighborhood. My other Grandparents had an outdoor brick grill that I always loved and would enjoy having here at the Pines. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories today and maybe I'll just have to act on that "now I want" list!

Eva Gallant said...

I tend to create in my kitchen the things my mother made; chicken stew, pot roast, chicken pot pie, and deviled eggs.

Rob-bear said...

Well, this is a challenge. I think we're about as far away from "home" as we could possibly be. We grew up in our houses — mine in Toronto, J's in Vancouver. Now we live in an apartment, about half way between those two cities.

We have a few things from homes — a few pictures, chair, sewing cabinet. But in an apartment there isn't a lot of room for much of anything, and we don;t have a garden. So we have to inhabit this apartment with dreams. Of things past, and things yet to come.

Interesting post and question, Rosaria. Thanks.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I surround myself with citrus trees -- bringing back memories both of my Southern California childhood and also the mini-orchard I had in our former L.A. area home. Here in Arizona, I have two very healthy citrus trees in the backyard -- a Meyer Lemon tree and an Arizona Sweet Orange tree. They're currently loaded with blossoms and the air is incredibly sweet.

dianefaith said...

I'm back in the house where I lived from age 2 to age 10, and the experience is comforting beyond anything I could have expected. I didn't think of this place at all for 50 years. Maybe home starts calling more loudly as we get older; it did for me. There are wild muscadines in my back yard, and, like you, I dream of an arbor so they can flourish.

The Broad said...

My husband and I often day dream about have a grape arbor to shelter from the French sun in summer. We have many fruit trees. In France plum, peach, pear, apple. A fig tree grows outside the bathroom window -- in the neighbour's garden. In England we have cherry (we planted) apple and pear. I have some treasures from past lives, but the most important to me are books -- lots and lots of books around me and then I feel 'right'...

Helga said...

They say, whatever you can visualize and into what you funnel your emotion, can come true. I hope all your wonderful dreams will come into being, Rosaria.

Even though I haven't really fully felt home anywhere, snowbells, lilac, forget-me-not's, heather, cornflowers and cornfields, their smells and sight would take me back to my childhood any time.

Anonymous said...

nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. what a great idea - and your plants seem to be working .. I'd love that Mediterranean vista you are describing, then the laden table with pasta, fresh salads,olives, cheese and home grapes, as well as your own grape juice or vino ..delicious thought!!

They've just planted some acreage here with vines, as we have the same soil as that of the Champagne country .. it'll be available by 2016 .. I should be around then!!

Cheers and good luck - love artichokes!! Hilary

She Writes Here Now said...

"We are all nomads. We are all homeless."

Are we? Or is it just those of us who became displaced from home very young? I know people who have always had a huge sense of being at home, while I have found it to be an elusive place. I love the lines you wrote. And yes! the world is as it is because we are nomads by inheritance. I miss my garden. I wonder if you ever saw it when I lived in my house with the huge garden? Did I post how amazing it was when I was there? For me a home garden has tulips, lilies, bleeding hearts, jasmine, camellias, a magnolia tree, a lace leaf maple, and wisteria. Oh, and I must have nasturtiums. There must be flowers blooming as late and early as possible in this climate. If I plant a garden again, I must plant these things right away. I would feel at home when they began to bloom. I'm sure of it.

the walking man said...

When the pizza is ready...America is my home, not the places my ancestors came from. I have seen enough of it to know where I fit. It isn't a pretty place and has had its own unique troubles for near as far back as I remember. But it is the place I know how to be comfortable in. And you Rosaria, have the right and ability to make the place you settled in as comfortable for you as you possibly can.

There are some non native species I wish never came to my home, like the Asian carp, Zebra mussels and the lamprey eel. Yet one has to realize that it is one earth, one place and if Darwin was right even though when a non native species arrives and thrives eventually a predator for them will come too and bring everything back to a balance.

No, you enjoy your grapes and all and live well and that is what makes your home your home.

becky said...

I left home as quickly as I could...I wanted a different life, one of my own choosing.
I can't say there's a remnant anywhere at what I call home now~~except, perhpas, the teachings of my parents about independence, self-sufficiency, and productivity.

busana muslim said...

WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..

Sightings said...

I like your thought about how we all leave home ... and then try to bring it with us.

Anyway, I'm a simple man. Forsythia and daffodils do it for me, esp. this time of year. Later on, tomatoes.

Ruth said...

"Home" is something I feel in many places, and not necessarily the places where I started or lived. I like to bring something of the places I've felt at home, even if I never lived there, to this farm. We can't help but change our environment, and what you're doing is beautiful.

rosaria williams said...

Thanks for the visit, and the lovely comments.