Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Grapevine

I live in the beautiful Wine Country of Northern California about a mile away from Kendall Jackson Winery and enjoy a lovely ride through many vineyards out to the Korbel Champagne Cellars from time to time which is about 10 miles down the road. They have a great deli! One of their champagnes was Jackie Kennedy's favorite! I am not a wine drinker (unless you count Sangria) certainly not a connoisseur!!!

Now, while I enjoy things from a garden, I am not a gardener either. I have grown tomatoes, lemon cucumbers (yumo), mint, scallions and other easily adaptable-to-neglect vegetables and herbs. Currently,the lemon tree looks sick, the tangerine tree dead, and the limes are doing okay. The pear tree is glorious and fully laden and needs to be picked TODAY before all the pears fall off. I take no credit for anything that does well in the garden - the drip system was in when I moved here. Animals in the night often scurry about and knock the drip deals out of the barrels that hold the miniature lime, tangerine and lemon trees, so I take the blame for not checking on those often enough...if ever.

I had asked the real gardner to rip out most of the mint because it was overtaking the raised bed and interfering with the grapevine so I sauntered over to check that out and noticed that much to my dismay many of the clusters of grapes were already past their prime.

Sidenote: A fun memory I have of the grapes is picking them with my grandson and making grape juice...he wanted me to squish them with my feet but we just pushed them through a sieve with our hands and drank the wonderful fresh juice.

So here I was with a big problem: icky sticky grapes....some dried and shriveled. There are a few clusters hidden that are almost ready and you can bet your farm I will go and check on them every single day until they are perfect. Then I will pick them and eat them and all free and fresh, not $3.99 a pound. I used my scissors (ok laugh) beause who knows where the small hand clipper deals are...and the scissors worked fine. For the most part the clusters really almost fell off in my hand and into the garbage bag i had ready to bring in the overdone crop.

I have a friend in Oregon, Nance, who has a farm and raises cows. She is one of the funnier woman I have met on line!!! She can take a normal everyday occurrence and use words so explicitly funny you feel like you are with her in person laughing til your sides hurt!! She also talks about getting up early and harvesting this or that, green beans, fruit, etc. Her poor cow went to the butcher the other day too, but provided the family with mucho lean meat. She tends her garden and she tends it well. Smart woman. She has provisions to keep through the entire year to next harvest.

ALL THAT TO SAY: The parables about the vine and the fruit and all that never meant much to me in literal terms. I understood what the point was, but I had no working knowledge of it until today! Think how many times I might have heard a study on this subject from the book of Matthew since 1974!!!

The vine is one my son planted when he bought this house in 1999. Now its sturdy, gnarly even..strong and its expanse is about 20 feet in width. He would have been quite proud of that vine and its fruit. He would have tended to it better than I have. He loved gardening. He planted that pear tree that is bearing so much fruit today as well. He wanted to live off the land as much as he could while contained in his tract home with a small backyard. No cows!

The first time grapes are mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 9:20 - cultivated in Noah's day after the flood. Scripture contains many references regarding grapes and vineyards. Jeremiah 25 refers to "shouts of joy" during the grape harvest. I wish I had taken better care of the grapes so I too would have had shouts of joy this morning instead of disappointment.

In John 15:1-6 Jesus uses the vine to illustrate the spiritual union between He and His followers.
1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."

Let's remember that without Him we can do nothing on our own...we are just sticky splitting grapes, past our prime, ready to wither on the vine and fall to the ground. We all know what pruning feels like as we sojourn together on earth, and we know that pruning produces the best fruit's all worth the pain, disappointments, trials and tribulations. We need to tend to our walk by abiding in Him continually so that the fruit He produces gives Him the glory." GREAT SHOUTS OF JOY AT HIS HARVEST!!!

Ok, gotta go pick those pears!

1 comment:

Lori Stilger said...

LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Preserve those pears! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!! And those LIMES! Ooooooh, you're blessed!!!
:) Love ya, you great communicator gal you.....:D