A few weekends ago, a friend in my study abroad program, Tsipora, (from San Francisco and goes to CC) asked me if I wanted to skip drawing class, jump on a train in three hours time, and work on a farm for the weekend. Without a thought in my mind, I ran home and packed a backpack of essentials and off we went to Chianni. A forty minute train ride and then thirty minutes in a car, and we were on top of a mountain looking out on vineyards, mountains, farms, nothingness, everythingness, what we'd been looking for in Florence, but man oh man, you can't find views like that in a city like this.
The date 11.11.11 arrived while we were climbing trees in T-shirt weather, singing songs in all different languages, and spending time with fellow WWOOFers from France, Italy, and Brazil. (WWOOF.org - check it out. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. These farms exist in nearly every country you can think of. You give them your time, labor, and joy, they give you a place to sleep and call home as well as DELICIOUS food.)
I've wwoofed before in Japan and Costa Rica, but this weekend breathed new life into me. I would compare it to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. As God touches Adam in The Creation of Adam with the gentle wisp of a finger, he grants Adam the gift of life. These olive trees did the same thing to me. I feel renewed.
Art analogy! God is to Adam, as Nature is to Danoonie.
I wrote my mom an email (15% joking, 85% pretty serious), and said "I really don't want to come home. If I accidentally don't get on the plane home, don't be mad, ok? Love you". Thank goodness that I have mama cin for a mama, because she immediately started looking for ways to help me change my return ticket home. She's a dream-actualizer. She's my rock. She lives and let lives.
I was supposed to come home December 10th..... but life is full of surprises, and plans change. Thus, I'll now be flying from Berlin to San Francisco on January 11th. What am I doing for Christmas and New Years? Not sure. Probs gonna be on a farm somewhere in Italy loving the language, the land, the people, the food, the wine. As my man Brett Dennen would say, "Blessed is this life, and I'm gonna celebrate being alive." Hallelujah.
Here are some of the pictures from our olive harvesting weekend.
That's me up in my tree that sways when the wind blows!
Tsipora (aka Zippy) little monkey.
I'm pretty sure it's illegal for kittens to be this cute and abundant, but I could be wrong.
We laid out huge nets under each tree and pulled the olives off by hand. This tree had five people working on it at once. The olive branches are forgiving, they bend. I aspire to be an olive branch.
Our cast of characters:
Simone - down to earth, knows five languages, way too cool
Joanes - Riding his moped from Lyon, France to Mongolia. Taught us the words to "La Vie en Rose"
Fabio - Played rock 'n roll guitar jams while we set the table for lunch
Claudia - our motherly figure who had patience to last for lifetimes as I made my way through Italian conversations
View from the top.