Of kudzu and sin – daily leader
Of kudzu and sin
Published at 1:00 PM Saturday, July 22, 2023
II spent many years traveling to and from Oxford on Interstate 30, where I watched the infamous kudzu vine swallow up trees, land, and a few empty homes along the way. I’ve never liked its destructive creeps, but I was certainly alarmed when I noticed a small group of them starting to wipe out the edge of our property. Now my hatred has become more personal because of the threat to our hills and their trees.
With kudzu’s ability to climb everything—even power lines and the guide wires of its poles—I can easily envision what it could do to the walking paths and four-wheelers around our house. There will be no stopping it.
I’ve done a little research on the killer vine and its origin. It came from Asia in the late 19th century as a garden novelty. I’m sure gardening enthusiasts were fascinated by its strong, vigorous growth on their trellises and arbors. I remember my father saying that the government paid farmers to grow kudzu during the Great Depression in order to manage erosion.
It didn’t take long for the vine to get names – “the mile-a-minute vine” and “the vine that ate the South.” As for erosion, kudzu certainly solved this problem but left the farmers searching for their land!
What started as a solution to a problem turned into a bigger problem. Kudzu began killing thousands of trees without killing anything. No insect has ever tasted the flavor of its fuzzy leaves. Its roots are its secret strength, they are thick and store water, so the Mississippi summer doesn’t slow them down one bit. I read that the vine grows feet a day!
It is a plant that has been the subject of much research. If scientists discovered that its vines contained a cure for certain diseases, we certainly wouldn’t have to worry about running out of them.
Kudzu – its name describes it. K is for kidnapper – kidnaps small and large trees, houses and land and never returns them. U for ugly. There is no beauty (to me) in those suffocating vines that creep under, over and through any obstacle and shut out light and life. D- Destructive! Many beautiful forests are now dying trees under a roof of vines. Z is for zip – he’s got a massive zip and the verve to feed his insatiable appetite for more, more, more. The U cannot be controlled – it grows like wildfire and refuses to die unless the mother root is completely uprooted.
Master, Master Kudzu, what a close resemblance you have to sin—the stealer of life, ugly, destructive, never satisfied, and out of control. Maybe her tendency to imitate sin is what makes me hate her. My hatred is justified: “For the wages of sin is death.” However, unlike kudzu, sin has an annihilator: “He who bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, dying to sin, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to PO Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.