When grapevines cry
Have you ever seen a grapevine cry? It happens every year in the spring. This is what it looks like:
What is happening here?
In last month’s article I spoke about the severe (but beneficial) pruning we do to the grapevines in the winter. The branches are cut off and all that is left is the “trunk” of the vine (cep in French). In the winter, the weather is cold and the vine is dormant. The sap is chilling out, so to speak, in the roots. As the weather gets warmer and the soil around the roots starts to heat up, the sap begins to activate. It gradually moves up the vine, but because the branches have been cut off, it seeps out the “wounds” and falls to the ground. Depending on the type of vine, the age of the vine, and how it has been pruned, a vine can lose anywhere from half a liter to up to four liters of sap in a season!
Seems like such a waste, right?
There have been seasons in life where I could relate to this weeping vine. I felt like my efforts were being wasted. I felt like the money I invested in a venture was lost. I felt like the energy I put into a relationship was all for naught. I felt like my heartfelt contributions to a project were unappreciated, just like sap falling to the ground.
But before we feel too sorry for the vine, let's marvel at how amazing and abundant nature is. In last month’s article, we saw how the pruning was necessary for the vine to be fruitful. So, while on one hand, you could say no sap would be wasted if the vine were not pruned, on the other hand, it’s thanks to the pruning that the vine can produce abundantly.
What's more, even if the vine loses four liters of sap, it just keeps producing more! It makes more from the nutrients in the soil, the water, and the sunshine, all freely given to it by nature. It can make enough sap not only to make up for the loss but to nourish an abundance of grapes – grapes that will become wine and make lots of people happy!
And consider this: with grapevines, weeping is a sign of movement from a dormant state to an active state. So, while it may seem sad on the surface, in reality it is good news! It reminds me of the scripture, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV).
Nothing is wasted in nature. Just as the sap that falls to the ground becomes nourishment for the vine, our efforts (and tears) are never in vain.