Our neighborhood is called Cedar Forest, and we’re surrounded by numerous red cedar trees. Many have grown from young seedlings to mature evergreens on our corner lot during the 46 years we’ve lived here.
But even more than the cedars, I’ve cherished the seven oaks that will soon be showing their autumn colors in our front yard, plus a couple in the side yards, for their calling to mind my childhood on the farm.
When I was in high school, my parents officially named our fifth-generation family farm, recording and registering it as Oak Park Farm at the Goodhue County courthouse in Minnesota. The first impression driving up the quarter-mile gravel road immediately convinces anyone that the farm was aptly named for the park-like view of giant oaks that comes into view.
A walk in our front yard this fall, or the farm’s oak park, is different this year. As my brother says, “It’s like walking on ball bearings!” The oaks have yielded so many acorns — more than we can remember ever before! Friend Tom Haugo, my landscape designer, agrees and believes Mother Nature has gifted the trees with the ability to recognize a serious drought like the one we’ve experienced this summer, and to provide for the survival of the species by producing an extra abundance of seeds for the future.
Up north at the lake, the case in point is not an overabundance of acorns on the ground, but instead, pinecones! I can’t remember any year when raking pinecones was required even more frequently than cutting the grass. At the end of the summer, bunches of still more pinecones hang high in the white pine tree in front of the cabin and in many more pines all around.
My faith proclaims God the Father as Creator of the sun and moon and stars in the heavens, and of the earth with all that is in it. Creation is a continuous process in every season. God provides, preserves, and protects all that is living. Seeds of every kind perpetuate the life of plants of every kind, both large and small.
Mother Nature must recognize certain conditions but also know something more about summer droughts and their effects. Nature and nurture forever cooperate accordingly and proportionately to meet the urgent need for an overabundance of acorns and pinecones in a year like this one.
Now, I’m just beginning to worry that both Father Creator and Mother Nature might know something we don’t know yet about how hard and harsh the winter ahead might be!
Editor’s note: Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) contributor Pastor Rod Anderson also serves on the EPLN Board of Directors. He was the senior pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie. Interested in contributing a faith-based column to EPLN? Email email@example.com.
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