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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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December 9, 2005

Green again

The scent of fresh greens—spruce, balsam, eucalyptus—filled the Evanston Ecology Center Wednesday night as members of my garden club gathered for our December meeting. We snip lengths of the various branches, coaxing them into Christmas centerpieces. The project is an annual indulgence for this group of women who tend several community gardens in our town.

But the conversation that excited us was about a project of a much bigger scope: Green the Gulf. We learned that the National Garden Clubs, a federation of 7,183 groups like ours in every state, is launching a fund-raising effort to replant trees and shrubbery destroyed by Katrina and Rita. Noting that the government and other agencies will take care of bigger issues, Kitty Larkin, president, wrote in the newsletter: “We need to do what we do best and that is to plant the land so that they’ll have green spaces again, which will heal their spirits and their souls.”

In her words I heard echoes of Martin Luther’s famous pronouncement: “If I believed the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plan a tree today.” For so many people who live along the Gulf Coast, the hurricanes of late summer did end the world—as they knew it. Now is a time to plant.

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