A vineyard full of old folks  13 January 2016

Wine is made from grapes.Grapes grow on grapevines.A bunch of grapevines together form a vineyard.


In the winter after the grapevines have offered us their fruit, we prune them. The old fogeys have suffered this treatment so many times that they have lost count. But it’s these knotted old bushes that give us our best wine.But because of their advanced age these centenarians resent the merciless amputation of their limbs more and more, and they resist it with all they’ve got.


No matter how lovingly we address our treasured veterans, one after the other gives up the ghost. And finally the day comes round when we can no longer look the other way; we have to face the truth: the scant drops that these seniors manage to suck up from the earth, are not really worth our while anymore.The old vineyard, the Vielle vigne, has reached the end of her life cycle. She has to be dug up.


Where birds once nested, where bees once hummed their happy tunes, and where deer used to dart among the shrubbery, there is now nothing but a yawning expanse of silent emptiness.


A broken man, the winegrower trudges home. Of course, when spring comes the desolation will be re-planted with young baby grapes. But still… But still…For a moment the hand of the winegrower hesitates as it closes around one of the oldest branches.
Does this vine really, after all those summers of loyal service, need to be reduced to fodder for the flames?


With a deep sigh the lord of the manor sets himself down at his writing table and attends to the composition of a poem on the impermanence of all that is.

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