Growth, Harvest and Ventilation


Yesterday I drove by my favorite barns. Just down the hill from my house, on my running route but not necessarily "on my way to any where". I love these structures, reminiscent of big red ships floating on a sea of fields. Every time I see them they take my breath away (I used to regularly share them on instagram under #istalkbarns until I met the owner one day and suddenly felt strange). It had been over a week since seeing them so I made a detour to go and see what was happening in and around them, always a telling sign of the seasons.

As I came down the hill and they came in to view I smiled with delight, they were "open" allowing the tobacco inside to cure. Something about the way these primitive looking structures reveal their genius each fall with the activation of a hinge system opening every other slat never ceases to amaze me. Somehow yesterday they shared with me even more.

The big red rectangles, the bare fields around them, the way the bounty of the tobacco harvest hung inside got me thinking. It got me thinking about this cycle of growth and harvest. It got me thinking about after the harvest how the final preparatory work gets done. It had me wondering where and how the tobacco would go once it was fully cured, how it would be used and who exactly would consume it. Mostly I marveled at the center step of the processes mentioned above, the final preparatory work of curing the tobacco. The step after the growth, after the harvest. The one before the shipping and manufacture. I marveled at the simplicity of it, the opening of the barns to interact with the surrounding environment, winds and temperatures I assume, to allow it to occur.

The opening up and the engagement with. This is where the magic happens. The process wouldn’t be possible without the growth or the harvest but the real value comes in the finishing of the leaves in the barns. 

Maybe it struck me because I have finished my author review and my book now rests with the publisher. It to is in the finishing process. I am open and engaged. Open to the container of the publisher here my book now lies and engaged as needed with my editor as the design process marches forward. 

I went through the growth in creating bodies of work related to the book before I even knew the book existed, the initial contact and contract for the book could be likened to an initial harvest though I might say a harvest of seeds ready to plant and grow mature plants this time. 

The creation of the book, the text and imagery, chapter after chapter was another season of growth then putting it all together and shipping it off for submission another harvest of sorts.

Now it hangs with the publisher, open to and engaging with that environment as it is cured and finished.

As it is finished I wonder too, just like the tobacco, exactly where it will be shipped and who will consume it. I can’t wait to find out this spring!

This week has been spent clearing the residue of my metaphorical fields, clearing piles and cleaning messes, tilling the rich soils of my home and studio and preparing and planning for the next plantings.