By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

It’s the end of the season for more than the vegetable garden and flower plots. The once-new, clean, green-cuffed gloves that went to work in March have frayed into stained, often-washed, tired and limp shadows of their former selves.

They had raked, dug, pulled, prodded, and wiped sweat through spring and summer months of squash, tomatoes, bush beans, and a shade garden under the pecan tree.

They planted impatiens, milkweed, dianthus, and assorted other flowers and plants. They were pallbearers for the huge elephant ears that wept their lives out in the Dumpster.

The holed fingers were irritants during the leaf-raking days of crisp sunshine, cloudy afternoons, and trudges down the alley with tubs of leaves to cover the ajuga.

The gloves’ final mercy mounded maple leaves around hydrangeas and coneflowers to blanket the plants through a long winter’s sleep.

Faithful and durable until the end, they deserved more than to be tossed into the trash. I buried them under the oak leaves in the green coffin Dumpster that said “yard waste only.”

They’ll join the circle and cycle of life in the city mulch heap to surprise next spring’s gardeners.

Ponder the worn people and tattered parts of our cities, society and planet. Consider the tired parents, single moms, overworked and underpaid toilers in forgotten parts of our social fabric.

They deserve more attention and care than an easily replaced set of garden gloves. Every person and creature is part of the web of life, sharing in God’s universe and deserving of respect, care, and notice.

What attention and regard can I offer each spark of creation I meet today? God’s life is there, full of Spirit, worthy of consideration and dignity and respect.