Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MY GRANDFATHER'S GRAPES

From a Journal of Dreams


I am walking through the flat south Jersey fields of my childhood, heading east into the land that once was the Renzulli farm. To the south I can see the Goffredi homestead and the fields where we played so many baseball games. To the north, beyond Siciliano’s farm is the silhouette of the cannery; I could still see the trucks, overflowing with ripe tomatoes, lined up during the glorious late summer days, the air smelling heavy from the tomatoes being processed for canning.

I am explaining all of these images to whoever might be with me on this dreamy journey, as we enter the overgrown field where our vineyard once so proudly thrived. ( It was a small vineyard, perhaps 15-20 rows of grapes about 500 ft long. But to me it was a magical playground, where the large leafy plants offered many intimate hiding places, nurturing so many fantasies and dreams of a young boy playing his games. And the best part? At any time you could pick a handful of large grapes, white, blue, or red, and squeeze the skin and pop the pulpy, juicy grape directly into your mouth.) Once I am in the field, I am alone, and my only thought is to look for signs of the long gone grapes, hoping there might be one or more small shoots that have survived after all these years. I begin to dig and scrape away some of the surface soil, and to my amazement, and delight, find old, thick, gnarled roots, one of which has a small green shoot trying to extend upward. I continue digging and looking and am rewarded with several more roots with signs of tender life. There are no words to adequately describe the joy and elation that my discovery prompted. It was a feeling that survived, intact, the transition from my dream state to consciousness. I wanted so desperately to see that vineyard one more time.

Before attempting to remove them I know I must do two things, first, get permission from the current owners to do so, and second, do some research on how to safely remove and transplant the roots.

I want to restore-resurrect the grapes of my grandfather and father. I want to see the Renzulli vineyard, producers of Father & Son Claret, thrive, one more time.

1 comment:

V said...

Simply lovely Bill, thank you.

Vee