Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Storms and weeds

We have been having an ongoing battle with the weather here. We received so much rain last week that the Colorado River flooded. We are far enough away that the flooding did not affect us, but we had to miss our weekly homeschool park day as the town park was completely submerged. If we had been sitting where we parents usually do to chat, our heads would have been under water.

Around the farm the impact has been felt. I found myself out under the carport several days, building berms and digging ditches as the water rose. No water in the house, but a lot under the carport. We clearly have some landscaping to do to fix this issue. Gutters will help too.

The shed was not finished (still isn't). The tar paper tore off in places, and a lot of rain made it into the building. Amazingly, not one chicken has been lost since those first two chicks the first days. All the rain made it impossible for Stephen to finish when planned because it was either raining or everything was too wet to shingle. And just when it finally dried enough, he hurt his back.

Did I mention Snafu Farm as a name?

The wood all throughout the house swelled. Drawers stuck, doors stuck.

The cat was irritated by the rain, the dog didn't really care except when her dog house flooded and the little raised area in front of the house was soaked. We let her in, even though she doesn't really like to be in the house. The cattle didn't care either, because they had just gotten a nice big round bale of top quality hay. They just stood with their backs to the rain and ate.

At the tail end of the storms, as the cold front pushed it all out like a steam engine, we had vicious winds. Texas weather is rarely gentle. The winds brought down a good number of dead tree limbs, which turned out to be handy. With the cold weather we started using our fireplace regularly so had a great supply of firewood in the front yard. It's all gone now... we have to go back into the woods to get more.

I keep marvelling at how much abundance there is here already. We have our own cedar, which is a fabulous wood for pest repelling and an excellent choice to use instead of pressure treated lumber becuase it is slow to rot. We will use a lot of the downed cedar for fence posts since they'll be in direct contact with the ground. We'll also cut them for Christmas trees and wreaths. We have copious amounts of mesquite, good for smoking. Both mesquite and cedar are considered pest trees... weeds of sorts. Amazing what blessings weeds can bring.

When I was pregnant and almost due the second time, I kept a miserable rash at bay by daily eating dandelion leaves at lunch in my salad. They are a very effective liver detoxifier. Plantain, another common lawn weed, is a remarkable bug bite easer and has other healing properties. Jewelweed, which grows where poison ivy grows, is a natural antidote to poison ivy rashes.

As I write this, I am thinking about other storms and weeds in my life. The storms in the last weeks crashed through our lives, making us stop and settle in close to each other, they cleaned up the dead limbs and filled our ponds and soil with life giving water. The common weeds that so many consider a nuisance can bring healing and beauty (and tasty bacon!).

The emotional storms that crash through my life are inconvenient just as the weather we have had, but I do see that they clear out and make fresh, when I ride them out in my Father's hand. I pray that He will help me to see what I see as weeds, in a new light, and find their beauty and usefulness, even if it is to pluck them and use them to heal.

No comments: