Today, I began the arduous but spiritual task of pruning 600 Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon vines. If I stay in the moment, I find the act of pruning one vine at a time, divine. Get one step ahead of myself and I gasp with overwhelm! My husband and I are a mere two person tag team, so we work best by staying in the Be Here Now ethic.
But I was thinking, it was just this past fall when these scrawny and entangled limbs gave birth to our 2010 Meritage vintage. During the winter, the vines stood dormant and turned a scraggly brown, waiting patiently to turn once more into pink little buds–longing to return to their precious purpose on this earth.
Rumi says, “Grapes Want to Turn Into Wine.” Indeed, they do.
As with grapes, I experience my own profound psychological shift in being when all our vines are pruned. Not only do I feel a sense of completion, of a job well done with the vineyard looking well-groomed and tidy, but with my own hands, I have directly contributed to the grape’s transformation, cutting off its dead weight of wood in order for the vines to turn to grape.
As I come out of my own quiet hibernation this winter (with plenty of dead weight, I might add). I too, feel the inclination to prune and get rid of what no longer serves me in my life. I want to clear out the things that crowd my mind, my space and make room for new growth in my own life.
I have been clearing the way, decluttering my life by completing some long over-due mundane projects, like throwing out all my old, old clothes, (that I wore back in college in the 80’s) from my closet; I’ve been donating most of my good books to our local library so another deserving reader can relish in them over a good glass of wine; I’ve been setting bon fires to the little piles of paperwork that seem to reappear. I swear they must have their very own hidden stash of Miracle Grow brewing underneath.
Over time, I hope to live simply like Gandhi, where he sat on a cool, damp floor in nothing but a loin cloth, spooling cotton. But in my version, I’ll be barefoot in my Levi’s with a cotton white shirt on (hey, at least it’s cotton!) pruning instead of spooling. I wouldn’t want to see myself in a loin cloth pruning vines. I might attract turkey vultures.
And after all this sacred pruning, a little wine tasting of Ridge’s 2008 California Zinfandel Pagani Ranch will do nicely. My heart and soul longs for spring. The Sun. Some fun! As the comedian, Robin Williams, aptly put it, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s Party!”