Why This is My Year of the Vine

2014There it is. Your brand new calendar for 2014.  All those little squares of pristine days, weeks, months waiting to receive the details of your life.

There’s your journal with its bright, blank pages ready to receive your thoughts on your life.

And if you have read through the One Year Bible, then the fantastic, apocalyptic language and visions of the Revelation are still ringing in your heart:

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’

Ah, the New Year. And how fitting that it occurs just as winter has stripped the trees bare and the world stands stark and rather naked. Exposed. It invites us to do the same. Figuratively speaking, of course. (Did I really need to qualify that?) Decumulate, shed, reduce.

Here in Sonoma County, where I live, there are over 50,000 acres planted to vineyards. I became interested in this world some years ago. As a student of the Bible, I was fascinated by the way vineyards and the fruit of the vine appeared in Scripture from Genesis through the Last Supper through the Book of Revelation.

I read, took classes, paid attention to the vineyards flowing over valley floors and hillsides as the seasons changed. I thought about what was taking place in those vines – and why.

I began to understand why Jesus told so many parables using the rich cultural understanding of the common folk about their vineyard plots to convey spiritual truth.

This is the Year of the Vine for me. The beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking, always rewarding world of farming and vineyards and winemaking.

Many of the vines here are already bare of leaves. The floor of the Dry Creek Valley where I drive to work several times a week is a rust-colored carpet. As the vines go to sleep, the leaves of some varietals still cling to the dark vines. But they too will eventually let go.

Dry Creek Valley. Early winter.

Dry Creek Valley. Early winter.

Next? Pruning.

There is, for me, no season when the vineyard is not beautiful. I suspect Jesus thought the same thing, even on those gray, winter Palestine days when dark, twiggy stumps sat in muddy fields.

Here are some ideas for this spanking New Year:

  • Pay attention. Train your eyes to see possibilities.
  • Worry less. It is an utter waste of time.
  • Pray. Pray more. Prayer changes things. This will never not be true.

I hope you will live joyfully and purposefully in 2014. You may hear the footsteps of the pruning crew and the sharpening of the shears. But don’t resist. True joy and purpose will follow.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Love, love, love this, Debra. Thank you for your thoughtful words about vineyards and the new year. I especially like, “You may hear the footsteps of the pruning crew and the sharpening of the shears. But don’t resist. True joy and purpose will follow.” Just perfect for January. Although, here in So. Cal., the daffodils are blooming! Crazy. Peace and Joy to you this new adventure year.


  2. Thank you, Debbie. Daffodils in January! There’s a blog post in there somewhere 🙂


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