Monday, February 7, 2011
PEANUT SHELLS and...
There’s a tall utility pole in the parking strip near the entrance to my driveway. At certain times of year the crows offer special air flights to the walnuts that grow on a tree several blocks away. From this high perch in front of my place, these canny scavengers drop their plunder down onto the hard street below – where impact cracks open the nuts. In other seasons, they find other tidbits. When they mount the transformer near the top of the pole, not too many of their fellows can get close enough to steal the booty.
The last couple of weeks, I’ve been finding pieces of peanut shells lying in the street . Very empty shells! But unlike walnuts, peanuts don’t grow in our geographical zone! Besides, I can’t really think of a near neighbor who would buy peanuts and put them out for any critters, unless they think the small birds like them. But to feed the crows and squirrels? They are considered rather a nuisance in these parts.
However, now I’m finding peanut shells in the back yard under the myrtle tree. Many more than the small offering under the power pole out front. It’s true that crows might have dropped them in the yard. But a fall to the soft grass wouldn’t crack open the nuts. These have been pecked into fragments.
I know that a cheerful, fearless squirrel lives somewhere on our street. Occasionally I see him scampering right up the middle of the street. I’ve never seen him in my back yard. But he may be the seed-eater-in-residence.
Along with the peanut shells are other seed shells. Some, translucent and empty, look like squash seeds. No one around close has a garden. This is really late in the year for garden squash. Does the seed-pecker carry in the seeds from afar? Or maybe some flower seedpods look a bit like small, unsucculent squash seeds.
The cast off pods bring me a sense of discovery, and mystery. And looking at the husks lying on the ground, I perceive another sign of God’s provision. If he sees the fall of the sparrows, as the Bible says, surely he sees the scampering squirrel or the audacious crow. As I speculate on what creature might have left the shells, I am reminded that God also cares for ME.
A chance to seek out-of-doors treasures gives me an excuse to get out of the house and wander around in my own yard again and again. I explore the green growing things and dropped flowing things – and tenderness floods my soul. How I thank the Lord for little surprises.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest shall not pass away.” Nor will he cease to provide for the animals, and ME. I can certainly praise God for that!
This post is also in honor of L. L. Barkat's blog invitational, "On, In, and Around Mondays."