My favourite volunteer job.
Strange as it may seem pruning olive trees and grape vines stand as one of my most favourite tasks. Each tree and vine has a mind of its own resulting in a full extension of both mind and body. Each often seems to possess a desire to fulfil its own desires independently of their owner, if it is possible for an individual to own a natural plant. The challenge forces the pruner to observe, evaluate and finally decide on their fate not just for the coming year, but possibly for the years to come. It is necessary to communicate with the tree before any irretrievable cut is made.
Each vine or tree has the potential to produce many different variables, like life itself our decisions determine the future to come. This is the joy to becoming fully engaged mentally in such a task. Will the vine overcrop and reduce the quality of the wine? Will this cut reduce possible mildew or future disease. Will the new shape disfigure the appearance to such an extent that several years’ growth may be required to return it to both its aesthetic and economic wellbeing.
Each vine or tree has a life of its own, but dependent in some way on the pruner and other plants. All sorts of reasons emerge, the pollination, differences in soil fertility, position, amount of sunshine and light is it subjected to bitter winds, the list is endless.
The pruner is not simply someone undertaking a thankless task but must feel fully engaged with this natural world. Each and every decision should advance our concept in trying to create a better world. Don’t rush, stop, think and listen to your inner instincts they are rarely wrong.