John Lawson's Weekly Blog Week 6

Blog – A Summer Reflection - 3 July 2018 


This Canada Day weekend I spent an overnight at our trailer in Southampton, on the shores of Lake Huron. It felt like an archetypal Canada Day summer day with swimming in crystal waters of Lake Huron in the afternoon and enjoying fireworks on the beach later that night. 


On the weekend I was aware of what was no longer there. How quickly some things disappear from existence – and also, from our memory. 


Our small trailer park is well treed. But it once was more so. Over the last three or four years I have watched every one of our 200+ Ash trees die and have to be cut down. First the canopy of the infected tree looks thin and unhealthy and then strange markings appear on the bark as if some bear had been clawing it. Within the year it will be dead. The culprit – the Emerald Ash Borer, an unwelcome import from Asia. This has happened with incredible rapidity – 3 to 4 years with not a single tree spared. All have disappeared. 


Who will remember the Ash trees 10 years from now? 


 Some while ago I read of a devastating blight that caused the die-off of practically all the American chestnut trees in North America in the early 1900s. An estimated 4 billion trees. In some forests these majestic trees counted for one out of every four trees in the forest. It had a devastating impact as well on the wildlife that depended upon the nuts from these trees. If it hadn’t been for a chance article, I would never have even known of their existence  . . .  and now their absence. 


What have we forgotten? What part of God’s creation is gone, and we have no idea even to miss it? 


Scientists tell us that we’re in the midst of the sixth great extinction – caused this time by human beings. Global trade has brought with it the export and import of disease for which native species have no protection. Habitat loss, pollution, over hunting and fishing – other destroyers . . . the list is long. 


The oceanographer Jacques Cousteau said, “People protect what they love”. 


Maybe the best way we can honour this great land of Canada is to protect it – to stand on guard for the environment and especially those creatures that need our protection, or at least not our indifference to their existence.  


Maybe an assignment for us this summer is to go outside and to delight and fall in love with God’s good creation as the first step in a journey of treasuring it and protecting it. Delight in the blessing! It’s an inexpressible treasure from God.