To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass
is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.
It's a clear, brisk Fall day. My online coursework can wait. Laundry and housework, too. There is pine straw to rake. Gather. Pile high. Brown refuse from towering southern pines. Falling. Blanketing. Carpeting the fading, green grass. Pine straw.
The first yard I ever played in had huge pine trees so I am familiar with these naturally shed leaves, these needles.
This time of year many people use pine straw as a mulch. Valued for its attractive reddish-brown color, ease of application and good insulation, pinestraw has become a moneymaker for many landscapers.
Mulches are used for various agricultural and gardening purposes, they are applied to the soil surface.
Properly used, they benefit plant growth and minimize garden labor. The main functions of mulches are the conservation of soil moisture and the moderation of soil temperature.
They moderate internal soil temperatures by retaining heat from the day and radiating it to the soil at night during spring and fall; in the winter mulches moderate soil warming during the day, limiting the stress plants undergo during soil freezing and thawing cycles.
They also are used to prevent frost heaving of unestablished plants in winter. During summer, they keep soil cool by blocking direct sunlight exposure of the soil surface. Mulches are used to block evaporation of water from the soil, slowing down soil drying.
They also help control the growth of weeds, blocking sunlight and/or smothering weed seedlings under layers of material. Mulch also reflects sunlight back from the ground to the leaves of plants, they also provide a clean and dry surface for ground-lying fruits.
They prevent soil erosion from heavy rains, prevent surface run-off of water, and prevent the direct impact of hard rains on the soil surface. Some mulches improve soil texture, adding humus.
Gardener of my soul mulching my heart, applying the necessary to benefit me, conserving, moderating, ridding my life of the unnecessary. I pray that my life will reflect The Light and that I will provide fruit.
And even more.
These pine needles, this straw. A symbol of how life turns. Ever-changing. And what falls, what is cast away, still has value. If we care to listen. If we take the time to look. Stop long enough to feel.
So today I ask the one who tends and nurtures me in this season to apply His mulch to my heart, right to my soil soul.