The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Gardeners are burdened with thoughts of doing something for the yard at this stage. They may plant a few bulbs, but there is little to do.
They long to cut down those old plants that have bloomed and gone to seed.
They want to enjoy cooling breezes and bright sun as they rake leaves into bags for the green police.
They see their 10 horsepower rototiller standing idle in the garage and hope to have the surging, bouncing machine in their hands again, making the soil softer than chocolate cake dough, mixing in the leaves and twigs like bits of nuts into a cake that will be done in the Spring.
Nothing we do to clean up in the Fall is good for the garden or creatures of the yard. Just the opposite is true.
God mulches with organic material all year around, but we seldom notice because of the activity of soil creatures, the higher temperatures, and decomposing rain. Cold weather dumps the glorious tree leaves on the soil and puts the plants to sleep.
Cleaning up is a crime against nature, so sell that rototiller, set aside that rake, and use plastic bags for real garbage - not for soil improving leaves.
Last year I added 60+ bags of leaves to the yard, on top of all that fell from five trees. Where are they now? I was knee deep talking to Mr. Gardener, and now I have no leaves in the same spot.
The leaves are in the soil. The carbon in them has fed the fungi, who must have carbon to live. Will you starve the fungi who feed your plants in order to make your yard the cover photo for Scotts Lawn and Garden? Do you covet honors from Lowe's and Home Depot that much?
A sunflower stalk is a perfect example of God not wasting anything. The roots are rotting slowly into the ground. The hollow stalk, inside and out, will serve as a refuge for insects over-wintering and also as potential food storage for birds who live from over-wintering bugs. Yes, it is a cruel game, to attract beneficial bugs and feed beneficial birds, but God sorts all this out.
That is why I have more birds and butterflies than ever before. Not content to lay out a McDonalds spread for a few starving creatures, I have a seven-course meal for everyone, from the tunneling moles to the the flocking starlings. They invite friends. They multiple in the yard. Nothing really remains but gets broken down, built into something living, and starts the divinely engineered cycle over again.
People are agog that I do not rush around with my hair on fire to spray, dig, chop, and osterize. Instead, I trust in the plan of the Creator, the engineering behind every part fitting and working perfectly, and the built-in management system.
Does this not drive us back to the Word to see how it was planned from the beginning? God gave Adam and Eve, real people, free will to decide their fates. Knowing that free will takes all divine gifts for granted, He planned a Savior to rescue mankind from temptation, sin, and death.
The majesty opening of Genesis 1 and the commentary of John 1 explain this to us in the plainest possible words.