El Santo Olivarero, por Gabriel Bertozzi
The rite of sharpening tools began. The chafing of saw teeth and the hustle and bustle of the workers awoke the hitherto sleeping trees. The invisible friction of metal and steel produced a spark of wonder in the secret life of the plants. Legend has it that at that moment the tree roots began to communicate via the leaves, leaf-telepathy showing where to prune in the groves.
Willing and ready to perform the appointed, inevitable deed, the workers walked among the olive trees. Heavy boughs, damp from the mist, began to fall to the ground, turning the neat rows of trees into stumps covered in leaves. The subtle sawing and pruning transformed the trees, giving them new shape and form.
And now, created anew and recovered from the shock and sting of the wounds, the euphoric plant transmission became calm, realising this formed an inevitable element of the cycle. Pruning was understood as a necessary evil. Little by little, the knowledge was assimilated by the trees of the groves.
With this understanding, peace reigned once again. The everlasting trees, producers of oil, returned to the path that would lead to the bearing of fruit.
Meanwhile, in the midst of the laughter, among the cris-crossed boughs, something moved on the ground. Taken by surprise and surrounded by the mist that shrouded the mystery, the worker thought it was an animal. But what he found was a branch, laying down, sculpted, half man, half tree, in prayer. His arms were held high in a sign of glory. He gave thanks for the work the tools had carried out. His face was incomplete, as if hidden by a hood; they eyes of this man on the cross could not be seen.
On this very day was born the Priest who cares for the Pruning of the olive trees. The representation of the task which, though painful, culminates in the festival of the harvest, in the abundance of the olive oil. Saint Olivarero covers his eyes so as not to feel the pain of his fellow trees, but his face shows approval, since fron his wounds runs olive oil. “
Gabriel Tarquinio Bertozziis a highly cultivated agronomist from Brazil, and the creator of Saint Olivarero, a sculpture of authentic Brazilian olive wood which came from the pruning carried out near the city of Poços de Caldas, in the South of Minas Gerais. The image represents the advances in olive tree cultivation in Brazil and its utilisation as a crop with added economic value.