I am in Slovakia today. I had bread and honey for breakfast.
The harvest is gathered from the plum, grape, apricot and apple trees. Some trees are already pruned. Overstretched branches are loped off and dressed with white paint to protect from disease. Winter will begin soon. The fruitful trees can rest.
I glimpsed rich, red colours on the fence between my son’s garden and his neighbour. I ventured outside to take a closer look. Lovely apples were growing on a tree trained to grow sideways. They sparkled in the afternoon sunshine. The nutritious cluster outnumbered the leaves left on the branches. Healthful fruit left untouched. No excited child’s hand to grab them. No careful gardener to proudly harvest and share his fruit.
Perhaps the neighbour is too old or frail. Maybe no grandchildren squealing with joy as they chase each other between the fruitful boughs. When I enter my son’s hallway there is a sweet smell. Boxes of red apples are piled high, the harvest from his garden. A bag is filled each time he visits relatives or friends.
My son Aaron moved with his family to Slovakia. He has inherited a house he didn’t build and a garden he didn’t tend.
You made their children as numerous as the stars in the sky, and you brought them into the land. Their children went in and took possession of the land. They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness. (Nehemiah 9:23-25 NIV)
So I have come down to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:8 NIV)
God is faithful to keep his promises. When I first read the story in the bible that God wanted his people to enter the promised land I believed it. He promised them plenty of bread, honey, fruit and houses. Now my children are inheriting their promised land.
We returned home after visiting family. It is good to be home again in the middle of nature.
My neighbour told me the swallows leave on the 22 nd September.
We arrived back on the 23 rd and I was anxious to see if he was right.
This morning I looked out to see if there were any swallows gathered on the electric wires.
There were a few circling over the trees.
This afternoon there is not a swallow in sight.
I missed their gathering on the wires to leave.
There is a stillness in the country. All the animals in the fields are quiet. If an animal makes a sound the farmer knows something is wrong.
Last night a cow was roaring in the field beside us. I knew something must be wrong with her.
My neighbour is away on holidays.
I went out early this morning to see her. She was needing attention.
Another farmer came by and told me the cow’s calf was missing! He had found the calf and reunited them. There has not been a sound from them since.
All my children have left home.
I have been sad like the cow separated from her young.
But I will see them again.
I marvelled that the farmers help one another here when necessary.
At this time of the year some farmers take the calves, that has been reared by their mothers all summer, to market.
Then there is plenty of roaring from the cows that have been separated from their young.
The bond is broken and the cows would be uncomfortable with milk gathering in their udders.
This reminds me of a story in 1 Samuel 16
“Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up.
So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves.
Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. (1 Samuel 6:7, 10, 12 NIV)
These cows were carrying the Ark of The Lord on the cart from the Philistines to Israel. These creatures defied nature and submitted to the yoke that pulled the Ark of The Lord.
Sometimes I have to go against my natural instincts when I have to obey God. Inside I want to scream but I have to submit to the yoke of The Lord.
Jesus said “My yoke is easy and my burden light.”Matt 11 v30
Perhaps this time of the year is significant.
The swallows go south, the calves are weaned from their mothers, Canadian Geese migrate here, and children leave home.
September 24 is the feast of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year.
The holiday is a commemoration of God’s creation of the world.
Perhaps the holiday reflects the cycles in creation.
L’shana tovah u’metukah