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The change has arrived before it is perceived. The morning light appearing earlier, the chill of night dropping out sooner in the day, an increased nesting activity of swallows under the eaves, an escalation in boxing by our resident “teenager” kangaroos. I’m seeing new wildflowers popping up everywhere, and the weeds are taking on greater vigor as they choke their way across the vineyard.

I’m being called out to get to work after a winter hiatus and my body, mostly my back, is protesting. I resolve to ease into it, to keep my perceptions open, to listen to myself strengthening into the season. But then there’s the little matter of my racing mind. 

I’m calculating a world of weeds and the hours needed to pull them. I’m looking at several weeks’ worth and it’s overwhelming. I’m looking at thousands of vines calling for pruning, and I’m noticing that the chardonnay’s buds are already soft, introducing urgency, adding to the mounting pressure in my head. And there’s the major matter of planting thousands of posts and drilling holes and stringing wires and the attendant demands and costs of trellising. And the time and organization needed and this desperately churning mind is just not the way to approach returning to the vines! 

I hike off across our farm looking outward/inward for perspective, noticing how thoroughly unmoored I’ve become by focusing on Cloudburst’s business concerns. I’ve been spending way too much time on the phone and the internet and I need to reconnect with the earth. I remove my boots and socks and dig into the cool wet green. The very muscles of my feet are aching from disuse, every step is a tretch and a yearning. I’m feeling the perspective already, this is real, it hurts so good, this is what I need, what Cloudburst needs. 

And then a flock of White tailed Black Cockatoos, chuckling like a great gang of clowns, scatters in over the ridge, nestling into the ancient marris above me.

I’m smiling, all cares forgotten until a rain of honky nuts threaten to brain me. I head out into the open, entering into the springtime, lighter-hearted, perspective restored, determined to bring this into the vines.