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The news trickles through the grapevine from the fields to the cities. The heat is killing the crop this year. The grapes are struggling without much rain. The harvest will come and the crop will be reaped, but the taste of the new wine out of the bottles this fall may fall a bit sour on our tongues. The figs aren’t ready, my mother in law says, knowing how much I love them. Normally midway through summer, we’d usually have a bowl full in the refrigerator. Our one tomato stopped growing and just turned red yesterday. It’s barely big enough for a sandwich. The leaves of our plants wither every morning, and I frantically try to water them, keep the heat at bay. It’s already August and soon the nets will be spread beneath the olive trees, as the days get shorter and the nights (hopefully) cooler, But the damage has been done. It got to the olives too.

Today we’ll fill our glasses with a red chianti from 2012, and no one will seem to notice the withering grapes. But I just pray that there’ll be another good year for the grapes. If not, it’ll only show that the earth is really changing, and no one is taking it seriously. Maybe they will when the bottles run dry, and there isn’t any more good Chianti left, and the vineyards have turned to dust.

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