I once picked apples at this orchard, over 30 years ago – the only local (and gringo) so employed – everyone else was from Jamaica. It took me a full two weeks to acclimate my body to climbing up and down the ladder with a load of apples in the kidney shaped bucket at my waist, straps cutting into my shoulder, and I thought of myself in pretty decent shape to begin with. We were on a daily quota for the first week; to a man my co-workers finished by noon while it took me the full day. By the end of the season though, which lasted about 6 weeks, I had pulled even.
Many a fine memory there; the top rung of the ladder offered the best view of the orchard itself as well as distances near and far. It was heaven to be doing that hard physical work, no matter the weather; knowing it was time limited probably helped.
This image is from the beginning of the season, after the trees had been pruned and just before the bees really began pollinating.
For all mothers near and far, for the hard work and sacrifice that allows the love in this universe to flow through you to your children, day in and day out. May there be many gifts received in turn!
In the Buddhist tradition, which recognizes the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death in this existence, it is said: “Of all the beings in samsara (existence), there is not a single one who has not been your own kind mother.” (Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche in Skillful Grace, p 49)
And of course for my Mamusiu, Josephine Reczek (1913-2006), with love and an ever deepening appreciation.
Last week, Green Writers Press, who (with Sundog Poetry) published our Vermont Exit Ramps II, hosted a wonderful party at the Next Stage in Putney, VT, in honor of both Earth Day and their 2nd year anniversary. There were readings galore from many of the GWP authors, of both adult and children’s books, which made for a remarkable evening of voices and stories.
This slideshow was something I created for the event, using all the photographs from the book. There is a soundtrack – a composition called Glastenbury, VT – by the composer Masako, which starts about 15 seconds in. My friend and co-author Neil Shepard followed with a powerful reading of his Romaine Tenney poem. Many thanks to all for a wonderful evening!
Mssr. Demi-D’Amour appears to approve of his most recent acquisition, a 1955 MG TF 1500.