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Pruning in the Winter Sun

February is known as the vintner’s month. It is the time of year that the vine is pruned and the vineyard is whipped into shape. It is also the time to plant new vines (see my post from last year). Thus, in some parts of Greece, February is also known as “The Pruner” (ο Κλαδευτής).

It seems that, no sooner did the snow melt, the wild flowers have sprung up in its place. Crocuses, anemones and daisies have pushed through the thawing ground to greet the winter sun.

The buzz of spring is in the air and the momentum is infectious this morning. The children busy themselves in the vegetable garden shifting piles of earth. They make a mud-production line, filling cans of water, emptying them on the earth and mixing it to make mud-pies. They all join in, slipping into position along the line, helping each other, suggesting improvements, testing the consistency and then gleefully offering the stuff round to be “eaten”. Most of the morning is spent here as the children become immersed in their work.

The ponies are in their paddock soaking up the sun. As we amble through the garden, towards the forest path we stop to give them carrots and stroke them. We run our fingers through their thick winter coat.

The path is alive with the sights and sounds of spring which is just around the corner.

Through the red gate we come to the vineyard. It is in the process of being pruned. The unruly winter tresses are being clipped back leaving the vineyard looking tidy and inviting.

We approach one of the pruners clipping away; and the children line up to take turns using the shears.

Back by the ponds, we lay our picnic blanket out in the sun and we settle down to a well-deserved break. Long after the food has finished the children sit quietly on the blanket listening to stories, mesmerised.

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