Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh Vanity!

"And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:
they labour not, neither do they spin." Matthew 6:28
In the stillness of this morning, I took a pause to visit the garden. I've been reading Ecclesiastes to Thing #3 before bed this week, too, since the other book is a Things #1 & #2 to be listening in on at bedtime.

Observing the juxtaposition of explosive growth and decaying vines within the cold, dark silence of a dawning summer day was an eerie feeling.

All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build.A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away.A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.-Eccesiastes 3:1-8

The sunflowers are reaching 9 feet tall, overlooking the slow death of the once-lush pumpkin vines.
Squash bugs have been winning the war in our garden. They started with the zucchinis, and have progressed to both the butternuts and the pumpkins. The pumpkins have produced a few fruits, but the green-and-orange gourds are not receiving any more nutrition from the brown, decrepit vines.

Tomatoes, some deliciously ripe and some bursting at the seams...literally. They are tied to
a pole, and supported as best as can be hoped for at this point.
The tomato plants have become too much for the bamboo stakes supporting them. They have all toppled over with unfettered growth, causing me to have to attempt a last-ditch tie-off to a fence pole I jammed into the garden.

No luck. 'Twas a mere vanity.

They continued to writhe under the constantly increasing weight of the fruits, buckling and falling to the earth while the tomatoes fill to beyond capacity.

Cucumbers, too, are nearing the end of the line.
The cucumber vines that produced a bajillion pickles are also starting to wither. With the cukes themselves still exceeding expectations, the vines are showing signs of old age - brown, withering leaves, yellowing tubes, and an overall droopy appearance.

The okra is doing very well after struggling early, now the strongest of the bed when compared
with the yellowing cucumber leaves below and toppled tomatoes behind.
The okra is still going strong. Good thing Wife makes a mean fried okra. :) But it, too, is vanity, for it, too, shall pass away with the earth.

The last remnants of a butternut squash, fighting for every scrap of minerals and water
before the entire plant succumbs to the squash bugs.
After being so excited at our butternut squashes narrowly escaping the squash vine borer attack, we are now dismayed at the reinforcements (i.e., squash bugs) winning the battle.
In the midst of the death and decay, some Scotch Bonnet peppers have started fruiting!
Still purple, they are looking very healthy in their overall development.
Meanwhile, our peppers have made it through unscathed - for now. Last year, almost every pepper plant was eaten at the stem. I think we got 1 green pepper all year. This time, we have a half dozen each of Scotch Bonnet, jalapeno, and bell peppers. After struggling early, these guys are ready for the big leagues.

Now is our time to pluck up what hath been planted.
Now is the time for our first fruits to die.
Now is the time for a new season of growth and fruitfulness, a new rebirth.

And to hold on to that which has passed is a vanity.

The pumpkins in particular are a devastating loss. But to hold on to that which the Lord gives and takes away is a vanity. I must learn to accept the coming, the fruiting, and the passing. For it, too, is vanity, and to dust it shall return.

I made gardens, and orchards, and set them with trees of all kinds. And when I turned myself to all the works which my hands had wrought, and to the labours wherein I had laboured in vain, I saw in all things vanity, and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun.-Ecclesiastes 2:5,11

Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God.-Colossians 3:2-3  

No comments:

Post a Comment