The Summer weather in Ireland is unpredictable. The weather forecaster may tell us there will be showers with some sunshine. This unpredictability causes the Irish people to talk much about the weather. You can be sure the tourists that come to Ireland don’t come to get a suntan.
We Irish have learned to make the most of our unpredictable weather. Ireland is famous for having forty shades of green throughout the land. We grow vegetables and crops that like rain and mature without hot sunshine. One such crop is the potato. Another is Oates. The Irish have survived on these staple crops.
Our unpredictable weather causes weeds to flourish as well. One such weed is the nettle. Nettles love to grow in good soil and flourish if there is no competition. Nettles spring up everywhere, along roadsides, in gardens, in forests and wherever it’s seeds land. One doesn’t have to sow nettle plants. If there is soil and water they will grow. The seeds are so tiny they can be carried by the wind.
I went for a walk this morning. There were plenty of nettles growing along the road. Many other grasses, thistles and weeds were flourishing, making the road narrow at some parts. Maybe the road will dwindle to a pathway someday if the weeds are not cut back.
As I looked at the vegetation along the Boreen, I remembered a dream I had last night. I saw a nettle plant open up before me and many of its seeds were released into the air, just like a fire cracker that is released at Halloween. I have been thinking about Multiplication recently. The nettle was releasing seeds for the multiplication of new nettle plants. God created every plant to multiply, despite the weather.
“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”
And it was so.
The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.
And God saw that it was good.”
I am back from holiday. My garden needs attention like the road. If I don’t deal with the nettles and other weeds, the flowers and vegetables will be choked. The decking is dotted with sycamore umbrella seeds. The back yard paving has a sprinkling of leaves. It is constant work subduing the land. God created man to work the land and take care of it. Weeds find a way to grow in the tiniest of crevices, on walls or between flag stones. I need some men around here to clear up.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
Genesis 2:15 NIV
The trees and weeds will continue to bear seeds and multiply. God made them to produce their own kind. It’s man’s job to manage all the produce of new life.
It all seems an never ending battle to deal with weeds. But I take courage. God said he would bless the work of our hands.
“You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land.
The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
Deuteronomy 28:3-4, 8, 12 NIV
There will be order again. The weeds will not take over. I will enjoy the fruit of the apple and pear trees, the tomatoes and other vegetables. There will be trailing nasturtsums, daisies and roses. The decking will get cleared and the lawn cut. It is good all the weeds die back for the winter. It gives me a chance to get ahead of the growth of nettles next spring and keep them at bay.
Plants and weeds flourish here despite our unpredictable weather.