Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Tale of Two Grapes, Part Two

From the corner of his eye, Agapito saw a shape moving quietly through the shadows below. It was a shape he'd never seen before; tall, free, and moving softly through the Vineyard. Something stirred in Agapito. Perhaps this was a sign of the Something More? The shape was gone in an instant, lost from his sight by the tangle of leaves and the rich clusters of other grapes all around him. Drawn deeper into his thoughts, Agapito grew silent and pondered what this might mean... Later that day, as the Sun tipped low in the sky, pouring its benediction of light over the Vineyard, Agapito the Grape was still deep in his thought. Gazing but not looking at a patch of dark leaves in the Vine, a sudden shock pulled him from his ponderings. He found himself staring into the oldest, wrinkliest pair of eyes he had ever... laid eyes on. "Wazzityooosed?" squeaked an old voice. "Pardon me?" said Agapito, aware now of an elderly Grape who was beside him on the Vine. It was so tiny and shriveled up in the Shadows that he'd not noticed it before. "Yoosed sum'thin?" the old Grape crackled. His name was Adhaesio. "Oh, I was just thinking about the meaning of Life. I have this feeling that we're made for Something More." Adhaesio shook his leaves. "Bah, leta gooo, lil' grape. This here'sit. Just try un live. Longa tha' bedder. Git a'smuch Sun as yoo can! Look a me, I been here longer than 'em all!" Agapito looked at Adhaesio. He was old, and the wrinkles on his face told of many days under the Sun. Funny though, he thought to himself, I can't see the Sun in his eyes... only its effect on his face. "But sir, you mean we're just meant to hang around on this Vine and drink in the Shine and that's it... nothing More?" In the face of such apparent aged wisdom, Agapito's old fears came back at him. Was Adhaesio right? Was the meaning of Life on the Vine all about clinging to It for as long as you could? "Yupper. Thas'zit." Agapito thought for a moment more. Then a spark lit up inside him and he felt clearer. "But sir," he wondered. "If clinging to this Vine and just basking in the Sun and soaking up the dew is all there is... then why am I even asking for Something More? If all I should desire is here on this Vine, why am I not happy, why do I pine?" Adhaesio snorted. "Kidz," he grumbled. "Yoo tink too'much." With that he turned over a leaf and drank a few drops of the dew he was hording. Then he shot a final glance at Agapito and spoke clear and sharp for the first time. What he said sounded old, like a poem or a song: "We're meant to be raisins, old wrinkled and sweet So cling to this Vine and never retreat! When Hand comes to take you, hold tight or you'll die Stay safe in the Shadows, keep facing the Sky As much as you can, beware of the Feet We're meant to be raisins, old wrinkled and sweet." With that, Adhaesio fell into Shadow and was seen no more that day. Agapito was stunned. The verse sounded so ancient, and it stirred in him a fear that seemed fair to obey. After all, Life was good. Shouldn't it be protected at all costs? Then a second thought came to Agapito. "We're meant to be raisins, old wrinkled and sweet..."
He looked back into the Shadows, and could just hear the mumblings and grumblings and slurpings of the old raisin Adhaesio. He was anything but sweet! In fact, he seemed miserable.
Agapito sighed as the night breeze began to whisper through the Vine. Maybe there's another way to live, he thought. Maybe there's another Ancient Song, older still than Adhaesio's. Maybe that Song is fearless....
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