Sunday, May 04, 2014
It’s eerie how sure the grape tendrils seem to be. Like they know exactly where they’re going. Like they have eyes or some kind of sense in the tips of those waggly little fingers that know exactly where they can find a place to grab and hold. When I’m standing near their arabesques I have the eerie feeling they’re aware of my presence, are sizing me up, looking for a knob or hook to grab. Like if I stand there quietly, I’d soon feel their little green tendril tips tapping on my face or ear or shoulder, looking for purchase.
And it’s astonishing how strong those delicate green tendrils are, how sharp the tiny hook on the end is. Gently touch it to any remotely rough surface and see how quickly that hook sticks. And how quickly the plant senses purchase, then how fast the tendril coils. In only a few days that fragile coil has thickened and hardened into a powerful anchor point.
And trying to gently uncoil a misplaced hold to move it a bit on the trellis without cutting or breaking the tendril is like prying a hard candy out of the hands of a recalcitrant two year-old. The stubborn resistance is palpable, nearly human, and I sense the vine murmuring through it’s cascade of leaves, “Nuh-huh, ain’t gonna.” So I end up wheedling and explaining and pleading while trying to gently untangle the knotted mess, bargaining with the stubborn plant.
And there's our bargain; I give them water and food and careful pruning and tell them how beautiful they are as they run amok along the fences with their cascades of perfect green leaves and sky-waving vines. Since they’re California natives, the “Rogers Red” variety, they only give small, sour, inedible little grapes, but come fall, when darkness comes too early, too early, their last gift to me is to blaze with red glory as their leaves say goodbye to the old year. It is a blessing and a wonder, a cascade of flaming glory to greet the winter Solstice to come.
So to their spring, summer and fall beauty and living presence, I can only say, “Thank You and Amen.”
Posted by Churadogs at 7:03 AM