We’re all beset by predacious vines sometime in our lives. Vines limit us, tie us down, and control us. They keep us from growing. They stop us. Sometimes a vine comes with a sweet voice and hides its hunger to use us up completely behind a mask it calls love. Other vines are destructive habits we drape around our own necks.

Vines use the life of another to support their own. Sometimes they’re lush, with beautiful fruit or flowers. But look close, and you will see they can only survive by strangling their host.


Vines are stubborn. You can cut them down, tie them in knots, blast them with cold, or burn them in a fire. They will try and try again to strangle any life not their own.

2014 parasitic vine cut at ground and tied off

But spirit is strong, too. And freedom is a beautiful, soaring thing.

2014 March Rescuing the animated live oak

This huge live oak has been struggling with parasitic vines for many years. Buck and I took machetes and loppers to the vines, finally liberating its bent spine. You can see how it’s twisted as though blown about by the storms of life. Call it transference or whatever you wish, but I feel it breathe with relief every time I walk by it now that the accursed vines are temporarily at bay. Vigilance, baby, vigilance.

5 thoughts on “Vines

  1. In the blissfulness of boyhood, vines provided a means of transportation – from one tree to another, from the house to the lake, from civilization to the jungle, from this world to another.

    Alas, with maturity comes the rudeness of reality.


    1. I remember our “Tarzan” years, swinging on vines in the fabulous trees (our second homes) of Oak Grove Estates when it was still wild. We had so much more freedom than most kids do today. Wasn’t it wonderful?


  2. The comment, “vines hide their hunger to use us up in a mask it calls love”, is to me, the worse entanglement there is. Years of chopping and lopping all the tendrils that have reached into our very souls to strangle and choke us. Difficult, but better to uproot it before it gets this stronghold on us. Good post. So insightful as you always are. love it.


    1. We will not be strangled, nor choked. Our souls are mountains, not aging buildings vulnerable to acquisitive opportunists hoping to spread their kudzu vines all over and smother the beautiful life within. Love you, too, sis.


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