The romantic notion of living in a tent on the vineyard while working as a cellar hand during this year’s wine harvest was exactly that, a romantic notion. I’m holding on to boat life with slippery fingers. Not quite willing to take that job that requires the car. Not quite willing to leave these islands for the mainland. Not quite willing to trade the smell of brine for the smell of fermented wine. The wine harvest has been my means of travel for many years. It’s brought me to new places, afforded me bits of extra cash, and suddenly ended as quickly as it began. It’s been a lesson in impermanence. A lesson in saying goodbye. Being a traveling cellar hand has always felt like being part of this secret club. A club of cellar rats doing a job that anyone could learn if only they knew it existed. Making wine breaks my back, stains my hands and fills my heart each year. But in the end it leaves me homeless in a strange place where I must then move on to more work or more travel. I am part of a different club now, however. Even though that seasonal job with the French winemaker a state away sounded fun, it wasn’t going to get me any closer to my boat. It was going to take me further away. During our phone conversation he said in a thick accent. “This too is my dream, to have a boat and sail away. But you must first buy your freedom.” People tell me to apply myself. To get a “real” job. To “do what I love”. To not “work for money.” All seem to contradict themselves. I can’t do what I love without money and a real job would afford me no time to do what I love.