photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Humbled by Mother Nature

When I grow up I wanna be just like my Mom.

Oh, not THAT mom- although her life works for HER, I just can't see myself being the church secretary of Resurrection Lutheran in the frigid northlands of Wisconsin and enjoying (much less teaching) quilting. Sokay though- I think she's perfectly happy NOT being a goat-milkin' ol' treehuggin' hippiechick in the backwoods of East Texas.

I mean the Mom of all of us- Mother Nature.

Powerful, beautiful, capable of moving mountains, yet mostly moving with steady, quiet unassuming assurance.

Not so long ago, our land was violated by the electric company. One quarter of our land that's protected wildlife habitat was not just mowed but scraped bare, and delicate wetland spongy with life weighed down, rutted and compressed by large equipment. A recap-

To say I was horrified would be trivial. To say I was livid would come not even close. The electric company and I reached an agreement whereby they will NOT go through the wetlands again- ever. And they were to re-plant according to a certain set of guidelines set forth by the TX Parks and Wildlife biologist.

I made an initial list from the seed catalog, but hadn't ordered them since
a) we haven't had a drop of rain to help them sprout and
b) I was concerned that while the "wetland fringe" assortment is very nice, it doesn't include ferns, or arrowheads, or water lilies- the three mainstays of our particular wetland.

Those reasons, and the distraction of trying to get our house built, had me set aside the catalog for just this tiny bit of time- actually exactly one month today.

And here's what Mother Nature has been quietly accomplishing while I've been jumping up and down, throwing fits, having conniptions and generally driving my blood pressure up along with that of everyone within reach by person or telephone-

This is what was naked and rutted 4 weeks- 28 days ago. There are hundreds of little lacy ferns springing up in the scraped soil, and in between the first and second pole where it's obviously wet? We're dry right now. So dry everything is dusty with drought- if it were just the mud they'd rutted up it would be cement now- the springs are seeping.

Right there- where the ferns have come back? That's where the heavy equipment crashed down one bank and up the other, rooting up and rutting out as it went.

It's also where one of the springs empties into the creek, and even though it's still not visible yet, it's there- the ferns and the higher water in the creek are the proof. And the vines taking hold on the bank- yeah, poison ivy. Matters not- it's a vine and it's gonna hold the dirt from eroding.

Looking west out of our gate late this afternoon. Can you FEEL the peace and quiet? The strength of silence and birdsong and sunlight that whisper, "It's OK- Mom's right here and everything's going to be alright".

*Thanks, Mom*.


  1. In 1900, West Virginia was nearly completely deforested for building homes, railroads and steamboats. Look at it now!

  2. Agreed. But there are also places that never will recover from being abused- and sometimes we just don't know which way it will go.
    (I know you didn't mean it flippantly. Just sayin')