A season of silence?

by Leila


I was fortunate to move to Napa as a teenager. I confess I did not appreciate it back then, I missed life long friends terribly and had quite a difficult time making new ones. It was a bit of a lonely and confusing time in my young life.

Although because of my fortune, I’m able to return to it often, my mother still calls it home. I now find it a place of great beauty and rest. I find each season here stunning and filled with inspiration and creativity. A morning walk though endless vineyards is richness to a soul.

I reflect on the silence that winter seemingly brings to the grapes. The long rows laying empty and quiet, void the beauty of the verdant harvest they experienced just a couple of months before. Pruning is days away. the cutting and editing causing pain and change yet bringing inner strength to the vine.image

I can’t help but ponder the last couple of years of my life and then now, where my spirit is this morning, a time of seeming silence?

Life, it was filled with challenge, beyond anything I ever could have imagined, for what seemed like two straight years. I felt I took one hit after another of experiences that pushed me to complete despair. The spinning top of confusion seemed it would never stop and I feared my life was spiraling down for good. We all know people whose lives are so much harder than our own, who have more pain, suffering, hardship than anyone ever deserves. For many years I’ve understood these are times of pruning and there are times, when the pruning is severe and it clearly hurts. But then, it ends.

There are results…

On the vine when done well it’s an abundant harvest. The beauty of the rich fruit that brings forth nourishment, sweet juice and over time beloved wine, it’s nothing short of a miracle to me. It’s the secret of the vine.

Our lives are a parallel to this truth, it’s even taught in scripture (which I personally wholeheartedly embrace and trust, I’m so thankful for the wisdom the Bible offers.) I look back at all I’ve been through as of late and realize the changes that have come, the things I’ve cut out, the decisions that were hard, the growth that has happened and I am humbled. I’m thankful my Master Gardener, my Lord and God I choose to follow cares enough about the details in my life to show me where I need to change, grow, walk away, embrace, renew and move forward.image

As I walk this morning, I know this season of pruning has ended for a time. I do hope the seeming silence of winter does not mean it’s directly around the bend. I prefer a time of bearing fruit that brings blessing to others. It’s so much more fun (O:

The observation that spoke to me the deepest this morning, in what should be the silence of winter, here in Napa I heard life all around. The mild climate here, that happens to be perfect for grapes, is filled with the song of sweet birds, the chatter of the chippys in tall trees, the fresh green of new grass reaching up. In the dead of winter, life is alive, it’s active and working. The quiet whisper, in which God often works and speaks…

Praise with elation, praise every morning, God’s recreation of the new day. The new year. The new and refreshed heart. The new life and on and on.

What an immense blessing this life we have been given is, despite the darkness that comes to us all. If you look hard enough you can find great strength and blessing that come from it and then rest and rejoice in the times it bids relief.

The massive oak that stands in my mother’s yard, the quiet strength, that which brings much to so many. Not unlike a Father who cares for His own.image

Oh & p.s. Please don’t ask for the details of my trials, ’tis only the common in everyday life, as are yours’. We simply tend to somehow convince ourselves that our’s must be the worst. They’re not.