this year i planted a grapevine in the garden in front
of my house. my porch has a small railing with almost a
fence. watching the little plant grow and wind itself
along this has been filling me with insights not pertaining
to grapevines at all
i’ve been thinking about how like our children this vine is.
how it supports itself on nearby things, even the most
meager structure. how it sends forth branches that feel
their way to find places and means to hold up the new growth. how little is necessary outside itself, save the necessities of light and water, to encourage its coming to be.
vastly different from the prim and crucified vines of the
napa and sonoma vineyards, this little creature winding its
leaves and vines onto my porch is wild and full of potential
since no one is bending it to a purpose outside its own.
society often acts more like a vineyard than a garden in
this respect. in a vineyard, thousands of little crosses
stand row upon row preparing to receive the plants then bind
them to its purpose. and the same is true of society, and
the dominant paradigm.
many parents play into the vineyard mentality as well. not
allowing their children to simply “come to be”. instead
imposing ‘therefores’ and purposes beyond the needs of the
child, which, as with the grapevine, are relatively few.
outside of the necessities of food, shelter and such, they
require some support from those nearest them. but in order
for them to grow into their own they should never be bound
to a cross, then trimmed and pruned to purposes not their
own. because if allowed, like the grapevine, they will send
forth tendrils and branches, and find places to anchor
themselves to their world.
some parents, like the keepers of vineyards, have expect-
ations of a certain fruit in a specific quantity. so they
bend and bind the little vines in their care.
i believe that as a parent it is not my job to decide upon
the purpose of my daughter’s life. her purpose in life and
the fruit she will bear must in the end be her own. after
all, this isn’t grapes we’re talking about.
but to provide only the basics of of food, shelter and such
would be a mistake. to act as that ‘nearby support’ requires
something more. it often means being there to allow their
various branches to find anchorage in their world. and from time to time, helping a tendril to find the porch, or
doing a bit of bug control. (smile)
my daughter is one of those for whom society’s vineyard
just wont do. from the moment the doctor declared, “it’s a
boy” the reality of the vineyard has been at odds with the
reality of her being.
it is wonderful to see her,like the grapevine on the front porch, growing free of the restrictions of the vineyard!
it would be better still to see society
act less like a production oriented people factory and more like a nurturing wild garden.