Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)
TITLE: Crocheted Vines
By Andria Cook
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My grandmother was a small hard-working woman in her late seventies. Love had entered into my life for the first time, and I was to marry the next day. I was frightened to change my home; Los Hacienda was where I grew up. All that I knew was on this vineyard, hundreds of miles for my free spirit to roam. My home, where I was known more as Bonita than Isabelle, would forever be changed to me. Bonita, meaning beautiful was the name given to me by my great grandmother before she passed.
Now, I was to marry, and I would bring this man into my world, into my family’s world. Her wrinkled hands handed me a thick piece of grapevine.
“Your root, Isabelle, to give to your new husband. He is a part of our family now and forever. Show him our family, our foundation. That his roots go deep. That his spiritual vineyard is much more important than the home in which we live.”
I took the vine in my hands, listening as my grandmother explains that my foundation was the center to everything in my world. “He is the vine, we are just his branches.” She spoke with great passion and conviction. “Without Him, we have no life. Without God, we are nothing.” Together we prayed and then she lay on the bed beside me, and we fell asleep.
My grandmother’s arms brought me comfort that no other person could bring. But her words, her words brought me peace. He is the vine rang in my head over and over. He is life, without Him we have no life. Over and over the words twisted and intertwined. They dug deeper and deeper into my spirit until they crocheted themselves in with my soul. She would not let me live this night without knowing who I was as a woman, a child, and a Christian.
When I woke the next morning, magic loomed about in the air like no other day I had every known. Family and friend buzzed about the vineyard in excitement as I readied to look my best. At the last minute, all final touches had been made and it was time to go. My father entered the dressing room with a vine in his hand. It was the longest vine I had ever seen. I could not see the end of the vine. As we walked down the corridor, the vine was looped through the walkway in intricate fashion. It extended all the way into the foyer.
I was mesmerized as I entered the foyer to see the vine hanging from the ceiling, extending down in seven directions. The minister held one, my grandfather held one, my grandmother another. My father, my mother, and my new husband held others. My grandmother handed me one for myself as well. In intricate fashion, my aunts moved me about the room, my uncles moved my husband. We looked at each other in unknown astonishment; we hadn’t seen this ritual only for the adults. The children were kept outside during weddings. I didn’t understand the dance until the end. When at the end we all stood shoulder to shoulder at the front with one long, intertwined grapevine lying at our feet. All of my family crocheted together into one. My grandfather took the vine from my hand and from Eduardo’s, “you are not vines, children,” he began, “you are branches.”
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