Grape Clusters

It may seem silly to write this, but grapes grow in clusters. As they first emerge from the spurs, which emerge from the buds, the grapes grow in their nascent stage in clusters. As seen in the photo this week, take May 15, 2015 from my friend’s grape vineyard, these Pinot Noir grapes, which will be harvested in late September, are already growing in clusters. What is strange is that we tend to think of life and growth in terms of singularity, growth of an individual in isolation from others growing. Our minds are trained by our culture to think in terms of me, and then in terms of me with others, and finally in terms of us. So when I see grapes growing in clusters, even though each grape is a little larger than the period at the end of the last sentence, there is a staggering reality revealed in this growth. We too are intended and designed to grow together, in clusters, in community. Grape clusters may have 50-100 grapes. Who are the 50-100 people with whom you are currently growing? Who are the nearest people, say 5-10 others growing closest to you in your “cluster”? How much of your week are you spending time with your cluster, and how much time alone in isolation from others? When St Paul writes of the singular fruit of the Spirit, he mentions a singular cluster of fruit, including the nine-fold fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. How is this fruit growing in your life and in the life of your “cluster”? IMG_0521