a cord of three strands

… is not easily broken.”

This quote from Ecclesiastes leapt to mind when I first saw these three vines spiraling around one another.  The bright cranberry color is long gone, of course.  These half-runner bean vines have long since died and faded to grey and black and white and beige.  But I thought it was an appropriate image and concept with so many of us visiting our families during this holiday time.

I’m down in Georgia, visiting all the various strands of my family, some of whom I see very rarely, and some of whom are a constant support, strong enough and close enough for me to grow around and depend upon, just like these vines.  (I hope they feel they can “grow” upon and around my supportive strand, as well.)

My grandfather quizzed me pretty thoroughly about the family heirloom seed, and his eyes twinkled as he heard about the jars of seed.  He told me of a time, long ago during a drought, that he got down to one seed and despaired of keeping the variety alive.  He told me tales of my great grandfather growing it.

He wore his most mischievous grin as he asked, “They have some strings; don’t they?”  Yes, they do.  These beans are as far from stringless as you could get.   Stories and shared smiles to go with a living heritage.

Granddaddy also gave me more expertise and advice for cucumbers, squash, crowder peas, seed saving, spacing, planning, patience, and acceptance of what is — all essential skills for farming, some of them useful in many other areas of life.

And yesterday, I learned that there will be a new little strand joining us in April.  Exciting news and wonderful times.

I’m sitting on my sister’s couch in Atlanta, with Auburn and Alabama facing off on the screen (my brother-in-law is a dyed-in-the-wool Alabama fan, so it’s pretty exciting — if a little frustrating in the first quarter, with Auburn up by 14).  The tree with its red and white lights is awaiting our attention later.  Leftover turkey and stuffing and giblet gravy await us for dinner.  The sun is shining over trees still hanging on to bright orange-gold leaves.  The sky is a deep, pensive blue.

I wish you all a truly wonderful day.

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2 Responses to “a cord of three strands”

  1. The tenacity of vines always pleases me.

    It sounds like you are having a beautiful Thanksgiving. I’m not a football fan, but I hope Alabama prevailed!

  2. I’m glad you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

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