Entry: The vine ritual Feb 4, 2004



In Bible study last night we looked at Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John. The Vine and the branches tended by the Gardener. As we sat in the shabby living room together I thought about the vines ripening on the Boland hillsides in a sea breeze, the fierce heat and sunlight thickening the sugar in the shiraz or pinotage grapes, the fruit nearly ready to pick as the leaves begin to shrivel in the heat. The inessentials, the transitional and the enduring aspects of winemking, the fruit to be crushed underfoot and fermented in oak barrels, stored as the wine matures, eventually bottled and drunk over family meals and at wedding feasts. A memory, a summerís day captured in a crystal glass, a recall of a greater sacrifice. The terroir, the shale and soil, the valley and hillsides. the wine cellars and grape-picking labourers, the earth and sweating flesh and uncertainty, the sleepless night, the vine stumps torn out and burnt in the fields. Will the crop fail? Will the grapes be sour? Will the wine taste right?

That we might bear fruit.

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