Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dirt Digging

No, not any gossip. It's just what I did on Saturday. I have mentioned here sometime in the past about the psychologist friend of mine who would talk about the healing quality of playing in the dirt. Gardening was a real source of healing in his opinion. I have always agreed.

Living in apartments for the past 6 years has curtailed my ability to go out and play in the soil. But this year we are living in a place that gets good sun so I bought some containers along with a cherry tomato, a beefsteak tomato and a sweet pepper plant. In the evening, after a few hours of rain, I went out dug my hands into the potting mix, ran it through my fingers breaking up the big clods of it, and planted the plants. For good measure I got some flowers and put them in a big pot. These all sit on my back patio now.

I looked down when done and saw the telltale sign of dirt under my fingernails. A sign that my soul was a little better that evening than it had been just a few hours earlier.

There are many ways our nature deficit can impact us. One of them, I believe along with my psychologist friend, is that when we lose our connections with the earth we lose some important part of what makes us human. To become isolated from the created world is to become isolated from much of what God made around us. The earth and all that is in it are as essential to our lives as food and water. When I "play in the dirt" I am in touch with the stuff we are made of, the raw elements of life.

I don't think it is stretching it too much (or being too "punny") to call that a down to earth reality of our selves. Flowing water, the rolling of the oceans, the songs of birds, the smell of lilacs are similar. They renew our senses and our touch with the Creation.

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