The Next Generation 6

Each September, the same struggles:  make Time stop, bottle the end of summer light.   This year I’m holding back the flow just long enough to chronicle a new undercurrent.

Baby in the house. 


Next Generation – First Vineyard Inspection – Pre-Harvest 2019


It has been a summer of babies.   And youth who were once babies – we knew them fondly – passing under this roof, through the Taverne, in the vines…  adding their stories of life journeys to my memory bank.   They return to this place altered by their trajectories, and I try to map their seedling selves to the adults before me. 


Youth Games Summer 2019


Their Seedling Selves – Henri & John H  – La Tourbeille garden 1998


Sometimes we imagine this little compound is charged with a magic electromagnetic field.   A protective, invisible shield, strong but also reactive and thus potentially fragile.    If the magic comes from the great Invisible, what of us, the inhabitants, pushing this way and that within the field?


Baby in the house brings questions. 

Fifth Generation pow wow


How to prepare the next generation?     How to encourage wisdom?     How to foster what we hold sacred, and still encourage wings to do right in future circumstances we cannot foresee?


Focused as we are on growing things, it all comes back to seeds, flowers, fruit and again seeds.    In botanical terms a plant is considered within a Whole.   For a plant to be healthy, its environment, its members – the Whole – must have integrity, be wholesome.   This is the truth for plants.    It is also truth for a person, a family, a community, city, country, planet… 


Blessed with land, we have a mission, the husbandry of 100 acres.    I look back at the choices made five generations ago and as I give thanks for their wisdom and generosity, I lament their fallibility and lack of clairvoyance.     I lament my own fallibility and lack of clairvoyance.


We the inhabitants of a magic sphere, pushing this way and that –   when tested, what will be our mettle?    What will be our legacy?


Considering human fragility I sometimes wonder, should we write “Guiding Principles?”    Would they be honoured?    Nature sends out a bounteous lot of seeds, but as in the bible story, almost everything depends on the terrain where they fall.   Rules are only as good as the wholesomeness of the people who would uphold them.


Baby in the house is a time of joy and time of reckoning.


We ask our fallible selves, are we up to the task?

The Ancestors


Uncle Henri holding Past & Future

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6 thoughts on “The Next Generation

  • Bernadette Engelstad

    Bob and I were just saying how much we are missing your postings — even knowing how busy things are at LaTourbeille in the summer, and especially now with Baby N! Thank you for such a wise and thought-filled post, making us all grateful, responsible, and hopeful for our place/our parents’ place/our children’s place in this beautiful world! With love, B

  • JACOMIN Christine

    Ah Mary, ta poésie, ton ragard fin et unique (cf la photo du bébé et du jeune garçon reliés par les pieds, sans paroles, mais vraiment en lien!)
    tout cela me manquait! Je suis heureuse de retrouver le chemin de ton esprit, tes pensées vagabondent et me ravissent.
    Quel plaisir de voir Henri maintenant et en 1998!
    Oui ce temps qui passe, le passage de relais en notre présence qui doit rester active pose ces questions de la clairvoyance.
    Avançons au plus près de nous même pour maintenir ce “Whole” en nous et éclairer celui des autres? (HMMMM, un peu mystique la dame…)
    Je vous embrasse

  • Nicole Sandifer Burnett

    So touching to see the next generation carrying the torch! Plus the weathered but scrubbed tombstone on their 100th birthday month! Merci de l’avoir si bien soigné!

  • Sally

    Wonderful as always Mary, but much to ponder about all our futures and that of our planet. I fear for the seeds as I’m sure we all do. xx