Saturday, September 26, 2009

Working in the Rain : It Started with a Stick

In college, I read C.S. Lewis' sci-fi trilogy. There is a passage in one where someone assumed rain would call off a picnic. The hostess commented something to the effect of, "Oh, don't you like weather? We like weather. All sorts of weather, not one kind or another". They picnicked in their car. That has stayed with me & while most folks seem to bundle & hide away from rain, I rush out to greet it. My heart & lips are full of praise. It is not uncommon for me to worship through dance to the sweet & gentle rhythms of the rain. Who cares what anyone else thinks? I dance for my King !
When I place rocks or branches on a slope, I return after heavy rains to find them shoring up the land. With a lot of help from God's blessed rains, I built steps out back, as well as a rock-lined, tiered garden. In recent months it has been mostly dry, but last weekend varied between misty drizzles & "healing rains". As I continued praising, I began to wander the side forest, noting how erosion has altered it's floor. A pile of rocks marking a decade-old squirrel's grave is now a sizable mound. Around the same time, I had relocated large ferns from the banks of the creek to line our driveway. Once on level ground, they now reside atop a ridge with azaleas.
The floor of this tiny, wilderness retreat next to our home is strewn with many small trees. They are the victims of drought, storms, pine borers & probably some "boy-fun". I began gathering long sticks, that once stood more than twice my height, placing them along the backside of the ridge. This revealed a steep slope, so I lined them with forsythia bushes I had rooted. Those were lined with lariope / monkey grass, given to me when our friends moved out.(God knows our needs before we ask). This led to another stick-built tier& another & still more. That morning, I had discovered a mountain of mulch dumped along the forest's edge up the street. God had also anticipated all of this & used our friends to further bless us with a small trailer for yard work. With permission granted, Tom & I retrieved several loads of mulch. It was comprised of freshly chipped pine trees, along with their needles. The aroma was divine! Delving deeper into the pile, the temperature rose sharply. Good. As it breaks down, it will return the soil to the forest. The azaleas will love the acidity!
I have been wrestling with things out of my control...changes in the neighborhood, in schedules & health, as well as the toll of erosion & the kudzu invasion of the forest. That very threat will now be a blessing as it shields the glare of night-time suburbia. God & I do a lot of communicating when I am at work on His land. I pray & praise, wrestle, & work out problems while in the garden & last weekend was no exception. I have felt more fully restored in spirit & in my relationship with Him. I didn't know where I was going when I laid that first stick along the ridge...I had planned a movie festival, yet found myself working in the rain for 2 days.

When we follow where He leads, we are always in store for blessings we cannot have imagined !

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