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Morning Glories Pray – OpEd


I am killing time just watching my plants. an hour and a half early before a nameless farmer comes, wishing to ask me how to plant gasoline trees. On a small table is a netbook, and a coffee mug. I watch a column of ants wrestling an earthworm, hoping to drag it home for a feast.

I cannot say if the tomatoes, ampalaya and chilies hovering over the ants mind at all. I may have stepped into some private conversation of which i know nothing about. I may have intruded as they discuss two legged varmints out to cut off one of their fruits at anytime without asking permission. but I’m no interloper. these critters have seen me almost everyday and they’re sick of my face. at least they pretend to be.

Not to be outshone by red big crunchy and yellow-green juicy fruits are the morning glory. They are here everyday, bending to the first ray of sunlight like mystic priests adoring Ra. They greet me daily, or do they? It must be that they are in prayer. The violet-bright flowers emit whitish radiance seemingly from a new born light. The brownish pine needles throw lazy hues over them much as Mother Nature would put the leaves where she wanted them.

I look at my neighbor’s yard and it is clean as the brown soil is exposed. The woman there keeps on raking, sweeping the yard with her coconut broom saying her yard is so clean and mine ain’t. She in fact thinks I am lazy because I don’t weed my garden and yard. I let the leaves fall so that they make soil like they have been doing so for millions of years. We are killing soil, destroying it, running out of it; some people making war over it and killing more people as a result.

Me, I make soil. We need more of it and mixed leaves with those pecky morning glories are are just the best way to get and make rich humus when broken by earthworms and century bugs.

My yard in fact looks like an old dilapidated Persian carpet. not as good looking as Ali Baba’s but it’s a carpet of yellow, red, green and brown.

So I stand, holding my coffee mug in my left hand, the hose spilling water on my right. and I look at my unweeded garden. There are bees. butterflies, dragonflies, a late Jiminy cricket and a lizard basking in the early sun. The lemon and oranges beg to be harvested, the tomatoes red for the table and the ampalayas bring sweetness to the bitterness of the world.

The morning glories continue to pray. And I sigh a thanks to the Maker.

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Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan

Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan wrote for the British Panos News and Features and GEMINI News Service, the Brunei Times, and US Environment News Service. In the Philippines, he wrote for DEPTHNews of the Press Foundation of Asia, Today, the Philippine Post, and Vera Files. A practicing environmentalist, he holds postgraduate degrees in environment resource management and development studies as a European Union (EU) Fellow at University College, Dublin, Ireland. He is currently a Fellow of Echoing Green Foundation of New York City. He now writes for Business Mirror and Eurasia Review.

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