writing about the vineyard

i went to a wedding last month.  the church was in the middle of nowhere.  mazzy and i drove miles and miles through fields of corn and vineyards.  the western side of michigan has vineyards.  rows and rows of grapes waiting to be turned into something else.

or maybe not.  maybe they’ll stay grapes.  maybe they’ll die on the vine.

the blue sky was screaming september that wedding day.  the clouds were tearing themselves in half to make way for it.  mazzy had her headphones in as we drove and i decided to stop and take pictures.

there is a loneliness about vineyards.  so much beauty, so much silence.  they can be like a severe woman who never reveals her thoughts.  you can stop and walk the rows and take a grape off into your hand.  but the thing is, you have to be willing to stop.

i haven’t been willing to stop.  i haven’t had words or pictures for this place in a while.  this blog has been a bit of a neglected vineyard i guess.  quiet.  beautiful.  overgrown.  you can walk through the rows of stories i already told and take what you want.

you might find something sweet, or possibly it’s all gone sour by now.

when the bride and groom were declaring their love in front of those they love i kept looking out the windows.  human beings are so clever.  they cultivate the vineyards. they build the clapboard church smack dab in the middle.

and who will anyone ever know?

who knew about that secret wedding in those secret fields?

just those in the pews.  

who saw the blue sky shouting down the great love of god over the rows of vines that sunday morning?

we did.

we gathered under a white tent set up among the fields and rows.  a small group of kind-hearted people kept by promises of love.  we celebrated in a secret place of nearly obscene beauty.

maybe these words won’t die on the vine.

there has been a scarcity of written words in my life, a poverty of tending to the vineyard. it might still be true that i have something to say. the work of weeding these gardens and cutting back the thorns, that’s the work i have to do.

it’s a lonely, beautiful work.  and it’s mine alone.

I went past the field of a sluggard,

past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;

thorns had come up everywhere,

the ground was covered with weeds,

and the stone wall was in ruins.

I applied my heart to what I observed

and learned a lesson from what I saw:

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest—

and poverty will come on you like a thief

and scarcity like an armed man.

~ Proverbs 24:30-34

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