On my vineyard walk I stop under a large tree. For nothing other than the shade and quiet it provides. The main reason I walk the vineyards everyday as I do is to be with only the vineyard. No people. No voices. Only the atmospheric and natural octaves of each block– the Syrah, the Grenache, Chardonnay. Out here I’m alone but not. The sound each step makes, leavers fallen and dried by sun, the sound of the creek behind me, the contrasting temperatures and their respective feels from sun to shade. I always be out here. I’ll always be walking. I’ll always prefer this stage to any colony of voices. This is more than a thematic anchor and consistency for me. It’s integral in my identity. The trellis wires, the posts, the soil, cover crops, spurs, sky– all of it, here, reside in a new “I”.
People forget about the vineyard in this industry, and it annoys me. How many spend their “lunch” break walking a vineyard? How many in “the industry”, like it’s the only industry, actually look around where they park, if they work on an estate? How many pause… how many look around around…. How many realize that they’re only a spec in the spectrum of what they represent? While walking today, I thought of my place, under that tree, and how I could have stayed there forever, sipping a Sauv’ Blanc and just noting all the sounds around me— the creek and the slight gusts through trees, the voices in the distance drinking while playing whatever game they’re playing.. how so many just view it as a venue, a place to be placed, a place that’s theirs after paying a fee, then they leave. Never factoring history, the impact of the moment, how their life will be a winked additive to more magnitude, totality. People more than forget. They dismiss.
I’m home now, and I look over my vineyard notes and the photos I took. Should have just stayed out there, had them send a search party for the writer. And why not. Life is once. That vineyard and me on that “lunch break” is once. My Personhood precipitates from that conversation with the rows, the cover crops, trellis wired and posts. I’m lost in the memory and the present and I try to collect in some proportion but the pages turn and turn as do the clock arm. Home is relative— as I feel sometimes more at home in the vineyards with those wires and posts than I do in my own domicile with wife and babies. Noises from the blocks and rows, that creek, follow me home. Not sure what to do with what’s in my head. What will grip. my circulation and sense when I walk a vineyard in France, Spain, Israel, India, Oregon— I realize where I am in this vinified stroke.