Pruning Trees

Moshav Hamra, Israel

The soil is rich red. Red like a terra-cotta pot. The dry dust covers us, out shoes, our legs, our clothes as we dig a single furrow between the trees. One of us plows the row by hand with a hoe, while the other puts the irrigation hose inside and hammers it in with a peg. We work towards the mountains. The trees are slanted, some lean so far to the left or right it seems they are reaching for the earth, while others are so perfectly erect, they clearly reach for the sky. After digging, we prune the trees-cutting away the little pieces growing low on the trunk to give strength to the rest of the tree. Covered in soil, intertwined with the trees, one with the land.

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