I am harvesting the last of our summer garden on a brisk fall day as I dig our carrots. The azure blue skies and sunshine are deceiving from inside but out here my summer warm weather body is shivering even in my lightweight jacket feeling every bit of that 41 degrees. My dirt clad hands feel stiff and clumsy from the cold as I continue to pull up carrot after carrot.
I pause to watch a chickadee on my bird feeder. He is puffed up capturing air in his feathers to insulate his tiny jubilant body. He flies back and forth between feeder and our golden clad silver maple tree that is beginning to shed it’s leaves.
“Thank you, Lord for giving me an oasis in this turbulent world in my own back yard. Thank you I can appreciate nature and the everlasting changing kaleidoscope of our seasons from my little slice of earth. Lord, someday, allow me to have a bucket list experience of feeding a chickadee by hand.”
Returning to pulling up more carrots, I consider how best to save or put them up since so little room in my freezer. I am unable to bring myself to can carrots since I cared for a patient for many months in 1979 as a student nurse who had botulism from her friend’s home canned carrots. Memories of her several month ordeal make me shiver from something other than the cold.
Why do my memories have so much power so many years later? Am I being fearful, cautious or wise? What other memories are shaping my days now? How do I discern which are holding me back or helping me grow? “Lord, show me how to move forward free from hold of memories or anything that keeps me from fully loving and serving, You. Show me where I need to confront fears, practice forgiveness, place boundaries or step out boldly in faith.”
As I begin twisting the feathery greenery off each carrot newly released from the ground, I notice once again the chickadee joined by a friendly sparrow. They both suddenly take off as our gray squirrel commandeers the bird feeder for himself.
My thoughts return to the job at hand and wondering about how the future in our nation will play out. “Lord, I pray you will send much needed revival to our land. May your Holy Spirit pour out on our nation, the whole world and many repent and follow after You. Thwart the plans of the evil and over reaching government leaders. Allow peace and unity to foster, first among your people and then spread as Your salvation spreads. “
2 Chronicles 7:14 springs to mind and I once again fervently pray it.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. 2 Chronicles 7:14
I lug the buckets of carrots into the house where I will wash them and bag them to put in the fridge. But first I will wash my hands in warm water and have soothing, warming cup of hot tea.
PS Do you have a peaceful oasis in your yard, garden or some other slice of nature to soothe your soul? I would love to hear about your spot of solace and contemplation in the comments.