Field work: memories of childhood

Field work: memories of childhood

As a child, I thought there was only one job for the men of my village, including my father. In fair weather or poor, they prepared the soil, worked the land and then harvested its fruits. And thanks to those efforts, we had a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.

There was nothing easy about what those workers did. At the crack of dawn, they would be off; sometimes to till the land, other times to plant seeds. It was always hard work.

Images of the past,
remain in my heart,
with the burning desire
that the passing of time
keep them alive
in my mind.

One of my clearest images is of how, from April to July, whole families would pitch in. First came the asparagus, our local treasure, the pristine white tips peeking out from under the soil. As the weeks went by, threshers and scythes would move swiftly through the fields, with plump tomatoes and tasty cucumbers ending up on our tables.

Suddenly, it was September. A time for local celebrations… and peaches. Then came the figs. And then the pimiento morrón –so big and red that they would stop children in their tracks as they ran through the village square.

grapes and wine in Azagra

October provided no rest, the vines ready as they dripped with fruit. The wagons would carry their heavy load slowly and carefully along the steep path, their precious cargo ready to make the wine we all knew so well.

Now, I look back fondly, hoping those images remain in my mind despite the passing of time.


This post is an adaptation of the poem Labrador o agricultor, written by Luis Sola Gutiérrez. He looks back on the memories of his childhood through the efforts of people of Azagra as they worked the local fields.

Original text ©Luis Sola Gutiérrez © of the translation Helen Jones | Illustration ©Pilar Sola