Learning from the Wisdom of Pecans

I am thankful for pecans.

I’ll admit I have taken them for granted and that’s worthy of lament. The knowledge of the profound design and fruiting process of pecans is largely unknown. That has sacred implications for me as an individual and us as a society. For there is much to learn from them.

As I savor the words written in Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, I feel my soul feasting on their nourishment. The native people, in her case, the Potowotami Nation, share¬†what they know about the sacred design of earth and all that inhabits it. Creation points to God’s character. As image bearers, we can’t afford to be deprived of that wisdom.

Kimmerer shares the story of her grandpa discovering the gift of pecans as a boy recently resettled to a new territory in Kansas. Like the previous nuts that scattered their land, these fruits held a reserve of protein and fat for survival during the winter. It even comes in a naturally protective shell. The mast fruiting process of the trees indicates a system of sharing resources so that all fruit together-whether small or large,rooted in fertile or infertile land.

“The pecan trees and their kin show a capacity for concerted action, for unity of purpose that transcends the individual trees. They ensure somehow that all stand together and thus survive, ” she writes.

A small nut. A simple treat. A gift that speaks of a great God whose handiwork in a tiny piece of provision points to the beautiful picture of community as it was intended.

Pecans add a sweet crunch to my salads, infuse the flavor of my husband’s favorite ice cream and offer a little treat in the midst of the mundane. Yet, wrapped within these tiny nuggets, are life giving elements. Literally. For that, I give thanks.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

How do you see tastes of Heaven in your landscape?

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