On Saturday JG and I went chestnut picking. ‘Put these in your coat pocket’. I say shoving a handful of chestnuts in his pockets.
The trees are shedding. The leaves have changed from dark green to the gold and yellow hues of autumn. The Sun is a distant memory as temperatures plummet and the nights begin to draw in.
‘How are we going to carry them?’ He asks. We have too many.
He is right we have collected too many!
‘Just say Alhamdullilah’ I say!
‘Alhamdullilah’ he says ‘but what are we going to do with all these chestnuts?!’
‘I will think of something’ I say. I have plans to roast the nuts and give some away to friends.
The tree we are standing under suddenly shakes showering us with fresh ripe spiky nuts. There are lots more for every one chestnut we collect. My rain coat pockets are bulging at the seams with all the extra chestnuts. We also each have a bag full of nuts.
‘Just a few more’ I say bending to pick yet more. The trees are dropping nuts all around us like mana from heaven. We continue to collect the free chestnuts or rather I do while he waits impatiently.
We have made chestnut picking in the autumn something of an annual tradition now. Every autumn we come to the woodlands to collect chestnuts.
Every now and then, I hear a russling sound in the dry leaves. I look around and see little squirrels busy picking up the chestnuts just like we are. They hurriedly collect the nuts go somewhere to hide their find and return again and again.
It will soon be winter and there will be no food for the squirrels and other creatures living in the woodlands.
Soon the trees will dry up and stop producing nuts altogher. The tourists will be gone.
There will be no local people willing to brave the cold weather to come and feed the squirrels. The squirrel and other creatures could starve to death. Who will feed the little squirrels?
How interesting then that the chestnuts are most plentiful to be harvested between September to November? Just when the winter season is around the corner. When there is no Sun, no warmth and no food available, these trees produce the most abundant food.
Before they go into hibernation, Allah provides plenty of sustinance for his creation to last until they come out of hibernation.
Right now, squirrels and other creatures are frentically collecting as much food as they can to last them throughout the winter months.
When the winter finally arrives and the last thing on our minds is the little squirrels, know that they will be just fine. They don’t need anyone to feed them. None of them will go hungry. They have Allah.
The Holy Quran says:
That is the bounty of Allah; which He giveth unto whom He will. Allah is of Infinite Bounty.
I’m sure just like us, the squirrels will be saying Alhamdullilah!