Agriculture

How Caroling Became Line Dancing … and Beyond

Here’s a modern orchard, an enclosed space, a guard or garden, all full of fruit, from the late latin ortus, or, you got it, all together now, an orchard.

The beauty of it is that the understanding that presents a ringed space as a garden also presents the ringed-space of a chorus or a choir or, when spread throughout a community, a carol, a song song from place to place together: rather like a wassail song or joining hands around a Christmas tree or a May tree, really. Here’s my father doing that fifty years ago: a walk in a ring around each tree lifting the fruit down and then you move on to the next one.  This was a human space, with mechanized help for the heavy lifting.

Not so today. The space is a line dance now.

No singing. Just a steady beat of a petroleum engine, in a space designed to limit human participation as much as possible, because to a world of machines and capital humans are too expensive. Well, you know, we can still walk around the trees where every glimpse is a song.

The Churchyard Quince of Okanagan Falls

Let us carol. We are not too expensive. We are precious.

 

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