“I need a shower. I’m covered in dirt,” I say to my husband as I slide open the patio door, a subtle warning that he’s on kid-duty while I step away to rinse off. The freshly-weeded flower bed looks back at me happily. I, on the other hand, need a hose-down immediately.
The garden in our backyard came about somewhat spontaneously, born from my inability to say no to plants (especially free ones). If I catch the scent of a curb alert or neighbor splitting perennials, I’m over with a shovel faster than you can say, “crazy-plant-lady.”
“Where are you going to put those?” my husband nags. I bat my eyes at him, “I don’t know yet, but a garden would look really nice right there…” I’m keenly aware that this is an easier task with his muscle. Our agreement historically has been – he digs; I plant/care/water/weed. Win-win (win/win/win).
As I step out of the shower with no dirt in sight, I feel refreshed. But it’s more than just a post-shower squeaky clean refreshed. My soul feels new. At peace.
I ponder the source of this feeling and decide I have to give credit to the gardening.
But dirt is just…dirt. How can something so ordinary create such a sensation?
Generally speaking, dirt is a major nuisance.
Pesky grains of sand in the heel of every shoe we own.
Muddy dog paws waiting to be wiped after an April rain.
Under kids’ fingernails and on the knees of their pants.
So much MESS.
But despite the headache…in that moment I’ve decided,
there’s extraordinariness in dirt.
Dirt is forgiving, adapting to what we ask of it.
It accepts what we plant, providing solace and safety.
It sustains life, promoting growth from below.
Dirt is a leader, of adventure and fun.
To bubble baths after mud has engulfed entire children whole.
And to car washes, with giggles emerging as the rainbow soap sprays.
Dirt is a treasure map for little hands to explore.
Finding worms from the garden for fishing with dad.
Sifting in strainers for buried shells at the beach.
Dirt symbolizes transitions, stages of life.
We build homes full of memories and families on top.
Say goodbye to loved ones, furry friends down below.
For me, it's dirt that renews my spirit.
It’s cathartic to start fresh, plant new, and pull weeds.
The messy hands and sundrenched skin are soothing.
There’s extraordinariness in dirt. So dig in.
This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series "Ordinary Inspiration".