Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day: Can You Dig It?

Photo: NASA
So today is Earth Day. You know--- Earth, as in the planet. Earth, as in the big blue globe we loved in the elementary school classroom. Earth, as in "In the beginning, God created....."

Or, Earth, as in--- dirt.

Yep. While millions of conservationists, environmentalists, and even the commander of the International Space Station (in a tweet from 240 miles ABOVE Earth) are celebrating Earth Day... Drexel is thinking about dirt.

One of my earliest memories is of digging in the dirt. One grandmother loved planting Texas Bluebonnet flowers in her front yard.. the other loved planting tomatoes, peas and butter beans. Both gardens required digging in the dirt. And, they let me help!

I loved using my little spade to dig, turn over and break up the soil. I loved reaching my little hands into the dirt, pulling up a fistful of the dark, rich soil and squishing it between my fingers. I loved watching the funny-looking roly-poly bugs and earthworms crawl in the earth.

If I was lucky, at the end of the digging and planting, my grandmothers would let me dig a hole outside the perimeter of the garden, turn on the water hose, fill the hole with water and make mud pies! 

It occurs to me that life is kinda' like digging in the dirt. Sometimes the dirt is hard and dry and we have to pound it, till it and water it to get it into a workable form. Sometimes the dirt is soggy and we have to expose it to sunlight and air. Sometimes the dirt is barren and we have to feed it and nurture it. Sometimes the dirt is filled with weeds, and we have to cull what's choking the goodness.

Sometimes, though, life---like good soil---is just right. Like the dark, rich Southeast Texas soil I dug in as a child, sometimes, the soil is just right for growing what is beautiful and healthy.

On Earth Day, I'll leave the celebrations of the planet to someone else. I'll just go digging in the dirt of my life. Gonna' feed it, weed it, water it, squish it between my fingers and see what grows.

If all else fails, I may make a mud pie! 

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