I used to say that expression to my elementary school aged YMCA summer-campers when they would inevitably drop half of their pb&j's, Popsicles, goldfish, etc on the dirt inside our picnic tents. The point was to make them giggle in the midst of their disappointment, which they almost always did, before popping said dirt-covered treat in their mouths. Although, I probably shouldn't be too smug about my giggle producing capabilities, considering this was a crowd that also got a rise out of my announcing "Arts & Crafts" time as "Farts and Crafts" time...but I digress.
A few weeks ago I spent a sunny afternoon helping my coworker pick out and re-pot a handful of window-box friendly plants. It was so lovely...calming, even...having my hands in the dirt, gently placing tiny, green (and sometimes spikey! succulents are the new, hip houseplants, ya'll) treasures into his various planters. I am grateful he requested my assistance and flattered he trusted my nature-in-the-home knowledge with the task.
Allow me to humble brag about my green thumb: Once, in elementary school, our class planted corn seeds in Dixie cups as part of a science unit. Most of the kids threw their cups away at the end of that lesson, tiny green sprouts of life and all, but I decided to take mine home to re-plant in the family garden. It's not often that you'll find just one standing alone, but wouldn't you know that single stalk of corn grew up to my 2nd story bedroom window and ended up yielding 2 ears of edible corn cobs! They weren't the prettiest, juiciest or most flavorful corn cobs in Jersey...but they were a much loved product of my youthful care. I was (am!) so proud of that gardening feat.
The point of all this succulent/corn/God made dirt talk is that I think sometimes city living has a way of distancing us...me, specifically...from the earth in a way that is a bit sad; trading in an actual jungle (hell, even just a basic backyard) for a concrete one, if you will, certainly has its disadvantages. Cities are, from top to bottom, made by man. And man has a way of being immensely ego driven, superficial, controlling and afraid. The natural world, however, is the realest of real in its purest form. Which means it is not only perfect exactly the way it is--intuitive, intelligent and authentic to its core, but it is accepting of what it is. It evolves as it needs to. It adapts. It goes with an actual flow of life and it is free. Oh my gosh. It is so, so free.
But man is as much a part of the Universe and this Earth as the plants, animals and ecosystems in the deepest of jungles (and the smallest of window boxes), and I think it would benefit our world to never forget that. To trust our instincts, to trust the process; to take care of one another and this planet, tune into our spirits (pipe down, ego!) and be who we are in our purest forms. To live simply, but deliberately. And to be free.
I'm not exactly suggesting you make dirt the latest topping of choice on your snacks and I'm certainly not looking down on those of us who dwell within a bustling city vs. a farm full of corn (I LOVE SF), but I am hoping we'll each remember to tune into that side of our beings that really thrives in its connection to Mama Earth from time to time. I'm hoping we'll remember how good it feels to be outside, hands in the soil, feet in the water, face to the sun (wearing SPF, of course). I'm hoping we will do this for ourselves because God made dirt and darlings, dirt don't hurt.
love and light,