|The good green stuff|
The third week of November is the highlight of our year, when ten friends from four countries arrive on Via Palombaro to spend a week picking our olives, drinking the local garage wine, and catching up on what has happened in the U.S., the Netherlands, Namibia, England and Italy over the last year.
What is it about olive picking that is so engaging, so refreshing to mind and body? Is it the fresh air? Is it the respite from ongoing (and often tiresome) responsibilities? A chance to get back to basics, to the relationship between humans and the land? A moment to be with friends, without cell phones ringing or texting, appointments waiting, chores to do?
|Pickin' and grinnin'|
The aimless chatter of familiar voices emits from the trees like birdsong, spiced with laughter, hoots and hollers, and sometimes a song (our Swedish friend comes from Todi to pick with us and amuses himself by singing Scandinavian folk tunes). Occasionally, a mild expletive that soars across the field, when a basket full of olives is dropped, if the olives begin to roll off the net and down the hill, or if a ladder shifts, throwing its occupant to the ground.
|The end of the day|