Monday, 7 June 2010

Cool of the day

"Do you like my garden so green?"
I know last week's comment on talking to God about the mosquitoes was a bit flippant but it does have a serious side to it. One of the questions I keep coming back to is "if God commanded man to fill the earth and to tend it then what does that look like?" I know the thought of filling the earth would worry environmentalists, but if God set that as an agenda then there is a way of filling the earth and looking after it that does not harm the good that God has made. I also wonder what would a redeemed creation look like? What would happen to all those parasitic insects and fungi or how would they operate in a redeemed world? I cannot personally redeem creation but I can be part of the process and what is my role in all of that? 

Sticky catchfly I think! Not a particularly fetching name
for a very pretty flower
Romans 8" 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." 

I think that we get so wrapped up sometimes in what our faith means to us personally that we forget that our faith and our relationship to God through Jesus has a resonance on the earth and in creation and so we should see some of the fruits of that relationship working itself out in the earth. Amazing what ponderings can happen on a rainy day, unfortunately the last rainy day for a week.

A pink haze of the flowers above
Still on the subject of creation we have been listening to Folkwaves as we love listening to folk music and this is mixed with the local derbyshire accents (which surprisingly we don't hear so much of these days), and they play a great song called the "Cool of the Day" by Coope, Boyes and Simpson , unfortunately it is not on the net but a version by Kathy Mattea is (you can listen to a short preview of the Cooper, Boyes and Simpson one though on Amazon). I found the lyrics to it below

A butterfly orchid in bud
(Jean Ritchie)

Now is the cool of the day
Now is the cool of the day
This earth is a garden, the garden of my Lord
And he walks in his garden
In the cool of the day

My Lord, he said unto me
Do you like my garden so fair
You may live in this garden if you'll keep the grasses green
And I'll return in the cool of the day

Then my Lord, he said unto me
Do you like my pastures so green
You may live in this garden if you will feed my sheep
And I'll return in the cool of the day

Then my Lord, he said unto me
Do you like my garden so free
You may live in this garden if you'll keep the people free
And I'll return in the cool of the day

Not a mossie but if you look carefully you will see a
All I can think of is that if I walk in the garden in the cool of the day I am going to be bitten to death by mossies (mosquitoes to give them a proper name). I do wonder though how we would treat the earth if we thought that the Lord was going to be walking in it in the evening, wouldn't we scurry around doing a bit of a clean up getting it ready? Or in the case of many areas we would be making monumental steps to clean up.

Our walk in the cool of the day one evening with a blessed breeze to keep the mossies at bay resulted in us hearing the corncrake again, back from its long winter travels. The sound of the corncrake is not exactly a melodious tune like some of the birds around, more like the old-fashioned wooden football rattles, a kind of rachet sound but it is nonetheless a welcome sound as it marks the presence of a bird threatened with the modern farming practices. Our walks on the land are a delight and we do indeed feel very blessed to be given the charge of this place; one evening we were returning to close up the greenhouse and arrived to see the stork in our pond, after a little tadpole snack from all those tadpoles we put in last week. On seeing us the stork decided to remove itself from our pond and saunter off, it obviously wasn't really that worried about us and what we might do. Fortunately for the tadpoles there are some deeper areas of the pond that the stork cannot get to.

A wasp had started a nest in our shed and apparently
abandoned it but we discovered it hadn't abandoned our
shed, instead it had found a better hiding hole in our stove.
The wasp eggs unfortunately though were smoked when
we cooked some more bacon and egg for our butties
(sandwiches for those not from the North of England).
Last year we bought a red and a white vine that we were going to plant out on the land somewhere but hadn't had the time to do deal with it before the onset of very cold weather, so I buried the pots in the garden and covered them with leaves and fleece for over the winter, hoping they would survive. One vine survived very well and as soon as it was warm enough the leaves started unfurling but the other vine was a very sad sight and the thin stick crumbled in our hands. The forlorn pot stood at the bottom of the garden for weeks while the other vine was racing away in the pot in the polytunnel, I was fully intending to put the sad specimen on the compost heap when I got around to it. The other day I walked past and noticed three tiny leaves coming up from a new shoot at the base, it was alive after all! So instead of heading for the compost heap it is now sat in the polytunnel next to the other one while we decide where exactly we are going to grow them.

Ian ploughed this land to get rid of a large area of ground
elder and nettles but just this week it burst into life and is
now covered with wild garlic mustard as well as some ground
elder. It will now need re-ploughing and then a spring tine
used and then re-seeded with meadow grass, lucerne, clover
and some timothy grass (all good for animals and the ground) 
We had some sad news this week, our youngest son is not coming this month to help us as he has got a job for the summer. In one way we are pleased as he needs the money but we were looking forward to seeing him. It was also sad that the conversation did not end on a very good note as he seemed so angry for some reason. Our relationship has always been a bit up and down but this time I was quite concerned as it crossed my mind that it was a possibility that we might never hear from him again and that hurt. I carried this fear for a couple of days but last night just before I went to sleep I felt God speak to me "he will come in from the roof." Okay I haven't lost it from grief, honest! It was God reminding me of an incident a long time ago when our youngest for some reason at the age of 9 decided to climb out of his attic bedroom window and stand on the roof. I was not best chuffed! In fact I was furious! Too furious to actually deal with it and I had a house full of guests to get ready for a prayer meeting that evening. Maybe that was a good job for him! I sat him next to one of our guests, a lovely older lady, and told him "don't you dare move," and he didn't. Not surprising really!  Well as I prepared our food I was busy chuntering away to God about my youngest and the scrapes he got into and I was still chuntering later that evening at the meeting.  During the meeting though I felt God say that our youngest would go out on the roof, but he would come back. I understood that to mean that no matter what danger he would put himself in or how far he tried to remove himself, he would come back! Eleven years later I need that promise to hold onto.

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