Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Little Corner of Eden...

God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. 
~ Genesis 2:15

I followed parallel tire tracks that hugged the tree line that formed the border of hundreds of acres of hay fields. Earlier this summer, an hellacious windstorm -- topping out at around sixty miles per hour -- and sideways rain blew down a cluster of four large oak and sweet gum trees. For decades, their roots had burrowed down into the soil, allowing them to stand tall and reach for the heavens, but the tempest overwhelmed them. What remained was a disc-shaped wall of soil and rocks twenty-five feet in circumference and perpendicular to the ground.

From its low of thirty degrees, the temperature edged upwards, and as the sun crept higher toward a cloudless sky it revealed a sparkling silver blanket of frost. By eight a.m. I had filled my saw with mixed gas and bar oil from the tailgate of my pick-up that served as a workbench. Protected by leather work gloves stained by red Georgia dirt and darkened by streaks of oil, my hands turned the flathead screwdriver adjusting the tension of the chain. "Tinkering with my saw and preparing to clear out the tangle of limbs gives me a sense of accomplishment. I wonder why I feel so much satisfaction doing something so simple?" I remember thinking.

Soon, the larger stuff was cut into stove length, and the whining of the saw ceased. I loaded the freshly cut wood into the truck bed; their ends formed a neat tier of blonde circles. Added to the sense of accomplishment came a sense of well-being.

Nature's destruction had made the forest floor invisible and rendered the trail for the four wheelers impassible. Now, it was back in order. Accomplishment? Satisfaction? I had done what God had created me to do: I had subdued my corner of Eden...

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