The girls are all grown up, beautiful young blossoms in their prime. They've overcome tremendous obstacles in their young lives and now they are ready to spread their wings and change the world. Where did the time go? Harvest season has arrived in the Emerald Triangle.
From seedlings, you nursed and protected them. You watched as their genders showed. You sent the boys off to boarding school, hopefully before any mischief occurred — boys and girls are trouble when mixed together. Unexpected seeds will completely derail your plans.
You fed and nurtured them as they grew, guiding them through each new challenge. Like a mountain lion protecting her young, you held predators at bay. You trapped mice and rats, and your heart hurt when you lost girls to them anyway. You fenced out the deer, hoping it would also keep the wild pigs from rooting up your babies. Sometimes it didn't work.
You protected their tender roots from the subterranean threats of gophers and moles with sonic deterrent spikes, finding that they aren't 100-percent effective. You supported them with netting or with ties when their branches became long and the winds picked up. When the rains came, your redoubled efforts kept most of the sopping bud-laden branches from breaking. You sprayed the girls with expensive organic compounds to keep the mildew off ... but watched as the devastating mold spotted here and there anyway.
Through it all, you stayed awake at night worrying about navigating the complicated bureaucratic details of the legal cannabis industry, and about whether you would lose the farm to it if you weren't perfect. You worried about people coming to rip you off. And would there be enough water in these years of drought? Would you have to order water trucked in just to get by? What about the crazy wildfire season roulette wheel — would a disaster land on you? Will insurance even cover the farm from wildfire next year?
There's more work for you as you prepare to send your girls out into the world, maybe into the medical profession or perhaps recreation, but you find yourself already looking to the challenges of next year.
To keep abreast of David Wilson's (he/him) latest photography or purchase a print, visit www.mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx and on Twitter @davidwilson_mfx.