November Wine

This fall Wade harvested the Marquette grapes from our yard. After sorting, cleaning and storing them in the freezer, he rented a crush and crushed them. The next part of the process involved the ferment. When the yeast had done its job, the wine was separated out, and he composted the yeast and silt. The wine was bottled and put in storage. On next Thanksgiving, we will drink wine from our urban vineyard.

Thoughts of next year’s Thanksgiving causes me to wonder what will the future bring? Where will we all be in a year from now? What will the kids look like? Can we count on their return the way we count on the return of the geese in spring or the opening of the creek? What image do we carry with us on our individual adventures? Is it an image of home that includes warmth, acceptance and comfort as well as good food and clean water?

At this time of the year, the cold exposes my emotions, and I am acutely aware of how everything I say or do has a ramification. I give the man on the interstate turn off an orange, and he thanks me. The following morning at the same turn-off, he waves his sign and asks for money for diapers for his baby. I have nothing to give this morning and like the other drivers idling and waiting for the green arrow, I are suspended in his need and trapped in his gaze. I feel guilty for a moment, but drive off. I know I return to my warm home at the end of the day. I want the same thing for him. How can I help? On the next icy morning, he is not on the corner as usual. Did he find a shelter? Did his family take him in? His absence creates its own anxiety in me.