Things are in the saddle

Things are in the saddle / And ride mankind – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Ode, Inscribed to William H. Channing”

Lately, I’ve been trying to hold onto a “live and let live” mentality. I understand that some folks like the look of manicured suburban lawns. I’ve even met people who say they enjoy all the mowing and trimming and edging. They say it gives them relief from corporate routine. I get that it can provide a good feeling of a job accomplished – something tangibly done, finished (for now).

And, I totally get gardening. My dad liked to garden. My wife is an avid gardener. It relaxes her and she creates beauty all around. Her flower beds are gorgeous and her vegetable garden provides sustenance (mostly for deer, rabbits, and birds, but also for us). 

So, no judgment. Each to his own. Personally, I hate the whole idea. Well, not the whole idea – I like the flowers and enjoy the vegetables as long as someone else tends them. But here in the burbs, we scrape away all the topsoil, plant non-native grasses, dump carcinogenic chemicals all over it, drench it with water during droughts (water that runs off taking the carcinogens with it into our lakes, streams and ground water), then slave over it weekly with machines that foul the air, ruin our hearing, use up fossil fuels, and break down on a regular basis. We work hard all week to buy stuff so we can cuss at it on weekends. In the process, we kill all the pollinators, destroy the habitat of the wildlife, and give ourselves heart attacks and heat stroke. Like I said, no judgment, but life’s too short.

Today, after mowing down all the clover and, in the process, killing a few honey bees and butterflies and scaring the bunnies and blue birds, I overheard a conversation between Peter Rabbit and his mother. I can’t quote precisely, but it went pretty much like this: 

“Mom! A horrible man and a crazy loud stinky machine chopped down all my clover!”

“I know, Peter. People are evil. They are destroying our earth. It’s so sad.”

“And, mom, I saw him kill a honey bee! A honey bee, mom! And a flutterby!”

“You mean a butterfly, Peter.”

“Yea. The evil man lives with a nice lady who planted a vegetable garden just for us to eat. She should get rid of him!”

“Now, now, Peter, Jesus wants us to love and pray for our enemies.”

“Even foxes?!?”

“One day, Peter, Jesus will make all things new and foxes and bunnies will cuddle up together. But, in the meantime, you run from foxes and stay away from people! Remember, Mrs. McGregor put your father in a pie!”

“Mom, people can’t be in the God’s kingdom, can they? I mean, they’re the ones destroying the earth.”

“Well, I can’t imagine the Kingdom of God with people in it. They’re so short-sighted, selfish, and greedy. It would take a miracle. I guess we have to leave that to God. Now run along and play; I have work to do.”

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on July 29, 2022, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Love it!


  2. Mary Hatzenbehler

    That “no judgment” paragraph sure cut to the depths! My neighbor in St. Louis had a yappy little dog named Skittles who got boils all over his hind end, ever-increasing in number. She used to take him walking so he could piddle on the landscaped, fertilized lawns of nearby rentals. She and I were thinking, one day, that Skittles’ contact with lawn chemicals took his life away. Lawns kill! Away with America’s lawn obsession!


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