all words and photos by June Friesen
The idea for World Soil Day was birthed through the International Union of Soil Sciences in 2002. The purpose of having a day like this is to raise awareness of the importance of soil and the importance of caring for it so that it can and will be productive for many years ahead. This year the theme is to make us aware of the importance of maintaining healthy soil: “Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity.”
When I was considering what God may have thought when He created the world, and especially created the garden of Eden lush with all kinds of plants, waters etc. I wonder how He created things to work together to provide for the continuation of life for thousands of years. The beauty of the creation at the beginning was that everything was perfect so there was no need to worry about the problems that face so many places in the world today in regards to healthy soil.
I found a few verses in Ezekiel that talk about how soil works:
Ezekiel 17: 3-6 … he took a cutting from the land and planted it in good, well-watered soil, like a willow on a riverbank. It sprouted into a flourishing vine, low to the ground. Its branches grew toward the eagle and the roots became established— A vine putting out shoots, developing branches.
Soil, especially healthy soil, is necessary for all of life whether it is plant or animal. It gives the possibility of plant life of all kinds as they are designed to get water and nurture from the soil. It provides living space for insects as well as some animals and at times it also provides living spaces for humanity. The house below has sides made of mud and as you can see the roof is soil with grass growing on it. At times these have been the only homes some people have known, and possibly there are still some today as they are said to be very economical in many ways.
Soil also is a filtration system for water. As the rains fall and the snow melts it passes through the soil into the water supply systems underground from where many of us gain our water for everyday living. It is through the soil that plants gain the water for growth through their root system. It also is a stability system for plants–as we all know the devastation when soil becomes washed away or too waterlogged to support our trees. The trees come tumbling over.
I grew up on a farm in the midwestern states of the USA. I learned many things about growing grains, gardens, and trees as I grew up. Fertilization and crop rotation were important. Because we had a large farm with cattle much of our fertilizer was from our cattle. As I moved into adulthood and on my own, I had a garden until a few years ago. I composted all of my vegetable and fruit peels etc. and used them instead of buying fertilizer. I cannot explain but I always had an abundant garden and as a family, we were very healthy. I learned that composting also helps to nurture the necessary worms and ground bugs that enhance garden soil. This definitely shows how we can live without some of the chemicals that have been made and are used in our soils for the production of foods. So, this is a first-hand idea to embrace to follow the theme for this year:
“Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity.”
I also was reminded as studying about soil that God likens our hearts to soil.
Psalm 97:11 reads:
“Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.”
He plants good seeds in our hearts but it is up to us to nurture those seeds so that they grow and produce good fruits. And then of course that reminds me of the fruit of the Spirit that Paul writes about in Galatians 5:22 – “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.” All these things can be nurtured and produced when we feed and water our spirits regularly with time in prayer and meditation on God’s Word. Just as in a real garden there are probably times where one has to do a bit of weeding out of things that creep in – that is how weeds are in a garden and if not tended to they choke out the good plants and prevent a good harvest.
EMBRACING THE SOIL
The soil at times may seem a bit unecessary when one observes nature,
We see the shrubs, flowers, and even trees growing as if it were out of rock,
And we may stop and wonder – how is that possible?
Then I take a walk and I notice –
Almost everywhere I go there is soil.
There is red soil, black soil, gray soil, brown soil, and possibly colors I have not yet seen or discovered,
There is soil everywhere and anywhere – some places welcomed and others not so welcomed;
There are plants embracing this soil no matter where it may be,
The cracks in the sidewalk, the flower beds, the gardens, the forests, the mountainside and even the ocean beds
All using it to produce a myriad of plants, trees, flowers –
Home for insects and small animals as well as food for many too.
Thank you for thoughtfully creating soil and showing us how to embrace it,
Thank you for how it grows tasty foods in so many forms and flavors,
Thank you for the stability it gives to our feet as we walk upon it,
Thank you for the creativity You have gifted us with to care for this soil,
Help us to embrace and care for the soil in our areas faithfully and carefully,
Help us to be mindful of sharing with others the wisdom we gain in our caring for this soil upon our earth,
So all of the world may benefit of this great resource we have.
Join Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin on Wednesday, December 8th at 9am PDT (check my timezone) for our next FB Live happening on our Godspace Light Community Facebook Group! Can’t make it? No worries–we upload the sessions on our youtube channel so you can still enjoy the lively discussions and interesting topics discussed. And catch us live for the next session–happening here every other Wednesday!