Friday, March 30, 2012

The Not-So-Sleepy Vineyard

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago while visiting my brother in California.  I live on the east coast, so to me EVERYTHING on the west coast is worth taking pictures of.  It's just so.... I don't know... different over there.  Within a 2-hour drive, I felt like I'd seen the northern Midwest, the southern east coast, the Caribbean, and Central America all wrapped up into one.  

What a diverse landscape!

Since my brother moved over there nearly 6 years ago, he's become somewhat of a wine buff.  He has a wine cellar in his basement (which he built), and a wine theme throughout the rest of his home.  Considering that we're of Jamaican stock, I found the contrast to our rum and Guinness upbringing quite amusing.  And as the dutiful little sister, I lost no opportunity to tease him about it, either.

So when my brother determined that we would spend an afternoon wine tasting in Santa Clara Valley, I really didn't know what to expect.

Wine tasting?  I don't even like wine.  I only like to drink water and things that are sweet.  Will there be sweet wine?  Is sweet wine cheap wine?  Am I about to embarrass my brother?  Oh man...

I went into the experience thinking that I'd be bored stiff, listening to people, with their pinkies pointed upward, talking about "bougie" things of which I had no interest.

But what I ended up getting out of the excursion was something far different.

My breath was simply taken away by the beauty of so many hillsides lined with sleeping grape vines.   

Even out of season, they were beautiful. 

And the sound of hummingbirds...  

I never thought that a trip to a winery could become such a meditative moment.
"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit.  Apart from me, you can do nothing."
                                                                                                        John 15:5 NIV
He's the vine.  I'm the branch.  I can not grow alone.  

Looking at those sleeping vines, I started to think about my own potential.

I am pretty optimistic about my future, but as of right now, I don't really have much to show for where I'm going.  Am I wrong about what God has in store for me?  Or... is it just that I'm in my off-season?

Do you sometimes get tempted to look at your present-self and doubt that you can be anything greater?   Might you just be in an "off-season", too? 

If that's where you are, in an off-season, then don't look at this experience as a waste.  Use this time for what God intended. 

Rest.  Contemplation.  Realization.  GROWTH. 

In this present season, though your fruit may not yet be apparent (to you), your all-knowing Father knows that it's coming.  And in the meantime, He finds you beautiful all the same.  

In less than 3 months, I will be back at the same winery for my brother's wedding.  And by then, I'm told, those sleeping vines will be awake, and full of fruit.

FULL of fruit.  I can't wait!


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Anonymous said...

Wow...this looks so serene

Anonymous said...

Love the pics, Tawen....

Unknown said...

wow Karen, i felt like i was with you. you really took me on the journey via your words. thanks for sharing ;)

Karen said...

Thanks for coming "with" me!

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