Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Diggin' Dirt

I love late season deals. Just the other day I was at the Ashland City Mall (those of you who live here know what I mean, the store that starts with W*) looking at all the different Clearance racks that I could and I wondered into the garden center. I had just recently cleared the weeds out of the front flower bed and fixed it up. I thought it needed another color besides green, so I was poking around for a cheap plant. I found one for three dollars which had actually become four plants, well grown, too. Yippee and I liked how it looked. So I bought it. And I brought it home.

There it is, looking just like it's always been there. That's my favorite kind, you know. The kind that's always been there. Or at least looks that way.

But as I was clearing mulch and digging holes for these new additions, I was getting philosophical. I remember reading the Secret Garden over and over again when I was young, trying to connect with how Mary felt when she first discovered the garden and started weeding the early bulbs. To connect with the newness and what I imagined to be the satisfaction of knowing that your actions were helping another living thing thrive. I didn't get that feeling when my mother assigned weeding chores to me and I don't know why, It just never occurred to me that way in the heat of the summer.

Now I know the difference, especially today. It's the rain, the mist and the coolness. Today wasn't exactly early spring cold at 68F this morning but it is a good deal cooler than a couple weeks ago at 96F. It's been drizzling and the mist has come back to the hills. The soil is wet and easy to move without choking on the dust. Getting my hands in the early soil is something that I have always loved doing. It connects me with the land, with creation.
I remember working in computers a few years back and feeling vaguely dissatisfied with work in general. Many of the engineers I worked with felt the same way. It occurred to me one day that this vague dissatisfaction was the result of a general disconnect in our culture. It's the disconnect that happens when what you do for a living has nothing to do with what you need to live. Fixing computers all day is not in any way related to preparing supper or feeding an infant except by money. Money that is not even tangible anymore. Easy come, easy go. And the pundits wonder why there is so much debt in America. How often do others feel unconnected to living? Don't we all long to make an impact in some way - a tangible impact? For me, it is farming, sustainable farming. What is it for you?
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