Saturday, June 16, 2007


In the field, we have a large pile of dirt. It is the dirt left over from hilling up the vines from the previous winter. My wife and I have been begging Ralph to get some kind of machine to get rid of this unsightly pile located directly between the two vineyard blocks.

But I am not a nine year old boy. And this of course, is obvious. But my sons are. With an entire farm to play around in, filled with trees, and rocks, and animals and insects, their favorite thing has become that dirt hill. Boys love playing in dirt.

The hill has some magnetic power over them. The more you tell them not to go in the dirt, because we have to leave, or because dinner is in a few minutes, like moths to the flame, they are drawn closer to it still. These words seem to mean nothing. Dominique and I are both spitting into the wind, or worse. It is the surest place to find them if they are not in the house.

And then they, without any coaching, played the game all boys play - King of the Hill. There is something primal about the game. There is something very basic. It never seems to get too ugly. And they seem to play for hours non-stop. And then they return to playing with the dirt. The dirt seems endlessly fascinating to them. They come in the house happy and unaware that the dirt seemes to have gone everywhere on them. And their mother is absolutely aghast. She makes them strip, and marches them off to the shower.

They seem happy enough. I should probably try the hill out myself. In the end, I figure, we all need a dirt hill to play with.


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