Wednesday, June 09, 2010

30 Days of Smelling -- Mulberry

I had to mow today. It seems like I could say that every day. Though much of Ploughshares
50 acres is prairie and woods, most of the woods and prairie is new and must be maintained. Plus there's 5 acres of lawn, which sounds like a lot -- and is, except for the scale of the place. Five acres is about right to frame the house, allow for a football field (I am an Ohio native -- football is our state religion -- Go Bucks!), and line the 1/3 of mile driveway.

So there's lots of mowing -- with a bushhog and a John Deere Zero Turn Radius mower. The racing mower.

Which is what I was on tonight for 2 hours. It is fast, but mowing is still a chore.

As I thought of what I might smell tonight, I anticipated writing about newly mown grass. I had even figured out where I would go with that. But that was not the scent that captured my attention.

Instead it was the reek of over-ripened mulberries. We have tons of mulberry trees and the squirrels and birds have had a feast time ever since the mulberries came in. They were so heavy laden this year, in fact, that the squirrels and birds have not been able to keep up. They are rotting on the trees and the ground underneath. As I zip by, my nose is assaulted by the scent of rotting fruit above and below. Pungent, sweet, cloying. Not at all pleasant. Good mulberry wine and pies going to waste, I think, as my tire grind the berries into the ground. An abundance of fruit just rotting while I am at work in the city.

It caused me to stop and think about what other abundance I am letting go to waste while I am busy paying attention to other matters. Matters that I think are more important. And maybe they are more important. At the moment. And yet, there is abundance all around me and I fail to notice it. Instead I focus on the lack -- the lack of love I feel, the lack of resources, the lack of time, the lack of... And meanwhile I am blessed with SO MUCH. So much is rotting while I bemoan this perceived -- though not real -- lack.

God, teach me to see and use what you have given me before it goes to waste. And to quit fretting about that which I do not have.

-- Brent

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