... in working with woodland

Published on 12 Jun 2021
Woodland in winter. Lord, help me to let your light in.

For the past couple of years, since retirement, I have enjoyed volunteering at our local woodland centre. It is easy to feel close to God and his wonderful creation when working out on a cold crisp morning, listening to the call of birdsong and feeling a pale, winter sun on my face. But there has been another level of understanding for me as I have learnt about coppicing and dead-hedging.

We cut back small trees and help to fell larger ones, in order to allow the light to penetrate into the wood. The ground is cleared to encourage new growth of various species; habitats for butterflies and endangered insects are created and we build dead hedges to surround the coppiced area.

Nothing is wasted. The wood from the larger trees is sold for log-burners and made into fence stakes. The brash from the small trees is woven into the hedge, providing a protective barrier for the new growth and providing shelter and pathways for our smallest woodland creatures.

Isn’t that just how the Lord works in my life too? Sometimes clearing away long established patterns in order to encourage new growth; sometimes, gently helping me to let go of smaller issues, weaving them into something different to support my needs.

Lord help me to let your light in.