I Am a Grape. (A Short Story)

I am a grape. But before I was born…

Farmhands cultivated and raised a deciduous woody vine. From the tilled earth my little parent plant slowly pressed from the darkness of ground toward the light of day, all the while maturing and growing.

Want to know the most exciting part of my story? This vine eventually gave way to hundreds of fruiting berry clusters!

You may have guessed that in one of those clusters you can find me- with my brothers and sisters of course.

We are a lucky bunch, I’ve come to realize.

Every morning we watch the sun rise. From our vantage point we look down upon rows and rows of other vines. Thousands (if I had to guess). Just like us.

Morning is my favorite time of day, when the Sonoma valley below draws in moist air from the Pacific.

Our hanging cluster catches this cool air and from our hillside perch, we sway and bob, albeit ever so slightly, to the damp breeze. Like napping in a hammock.

The daytime, especially in the Summer, can get very hot though. To pass the time we play games like ‘I Spy With My Little Eye’ or Charades. One day I pretended to be a blueberry. That one got some laughs.

Then, at the end of a long day of ripening, when the sun touches the ground and shadows fill the valleys, a fog sometimes forms and covers some of us. It’s not scary to me- in fact, the fog feels safe…

Then we sleep. My skin is stretched tight, having acted as a permeable sponge to absorb the tasteful elements of the valley. I’ve been told that’s part of our charm-

Overall, it’s a happy life. The life of a grape.

Weeks and months go by- the days tend to blend together. The subtle changes in weather help to denote the passing of time. But the end of Summer has finally arrived.

Although the air is cooler, everything else is predictable. The rising and setting of the sun, the farmhands that occasionally check our vine, and the valley itself. We are all but one.

Until one day…

Everything I thought I knew about the world came crashing down, all at once! It was harvest week. I was yanked from my roost- separated from my brothers and sisters and thrown into a spinning vortex of metal machinery and loud noise.

My light went dark.

…I don’t know how much time passed in between, but I eventually woke up from the harvest. When I did, I felt funny.

I smelled an enticing aroma, and was surrounded by a warm and fuzzy pool of purple. I was light-headed, a floating spirit completely detached from the physical fruit I once was. Once I got used to this new feeling, I began to really like it!

My purpose, it turns out, was something much different from what I had ever imagined.

Wine.

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