Free write: Visiting the Vine

Fruit of the vine
Care and time went into these bundles of goodness

Editor’s note: In memoir class we often reflected on literature or things, and then allowed that to grow into a writing exercise.  I tried to do that here.

Stumbling along Swiss trails, in and out of dense wood and open pasture, neat and cleanly-kept vines seem out-of-place and natural, all at the same time. Plump bundles of a shadowy lavender fruit sit patiently drinking in more sunlight. The tiny treats are supported by leaf-rich vines; each leaf a hue of green, red, or dark purple depending on its phase and position to the sun. Wiry, wild vines seem harsh and drab without these bundles, but time brings forth the bloom. Days in the hot sun, brushing away horse flies and curious pests, can seem torturous and slow when one awaits yet more from the plants’ brittle bones and bundled blossom.

It is by human hands that this fruit of the vine is cured and brought to life anew, as a sweet elixir whose taste reflects the time and toil of harvest. Vines like these once acted like a well of nourishment for places cursed by lack of rain, or precious springs. Surely these Swiss artisans never relied on the fruit for sustenance, as the water in Swiss foothills carry still purity from the Alps.

It is tempting to want to taste wild fruits, as if my imagined flavor will translate to reality, despite the whole transaction being illicit and wrong. I can’t. No, I could, but I won’t. The fruit is a gift to the one who sows the seed, and nurtures the vine. There is still contentment to be found in reflecting on the vine, and enjoying the interplay of cultivated land and undisturbed nature. The wild birdsong is interrupted only by a distant cow, or perhaps the buzz of a bee forging ahead to pollen-rich lands.

It is good to stop, reflect, and try to listen to what is happening around one’s self. It is only by being aware, can we know to respond.

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