Sweet Fruits

Fruits of Eden: Field Notes: Napa Valley 1991-2021, to be published by Dancing Raven Press, an imprint of Analytical Psychology Press, includes photographs bearing witness to my daily walks these last 30 years on our ranch.  I have walked our trails almost every day with our small herd of goats and dogs. In the early years, my late husband Donald joined us.  I take a camera. The photos record the oak savanna in February and late July and again after the first rains green the grasses in the fall. They log the increasing tree mortality among the oaks and madrone and also chronicle local citizens’ efforts on behalf of trees and watersheds and Earth.

Publisher Dyane Sherwood suggested including the photos, so I spent several weeks sorting hundreds of photos. I asked photographers Lowell Downey, Deborah O’Grady (author of the foreword), and Bill Hocker, all partners in various aspects of this work for the environment, if I could include some of their magnificent photographs. They generously agreed.

The daily walk images bring you with me. So much of my experience on our ranch is nonverbal. When you walk with goats, you learn to listen. The goats entrust you to watch out for predators. Suddenly everything is sharper. You heed the quail’s clicking, stepping by quietly so as not to disturb the puffballs of his brood. Is that trashing in the forest above a deer? It matters!

The photos not only show you this ranch I love but also the land that I spend my retirement joining with others to bring the best science and ethics to protecting. It is up to us to protect these sentient beings speaking through scent and sound, light and color.  Nature teaches the paradox of impermanence and resilience.  The necessity to act to protect Earth is a strong theme of Fruits.

The photos have brought challenges to the book design.  The publication date moved from April 15 to June 15, and now it’s July. But it is coming—timing being one of Eden’s lessons!  But wait I must. We have to get it right. As my friend Jimalee says, patience is a bitter seed with a sweet fruit.