There are few things as truly good for the soul as dark rich soil and all the life contained within. Of course, there are few things as jarring for the body as cultivating a yard gone to meadow and then planting said yard with perennials. So while my mind and heart sing out a blissful YES, my body wimpers, sobs, and groans in protest – but it’s worth it.
One of the greatest tools for ripping apart the surface of a yard yet to become garden is the Garden Claw. And for my parent’s purchase of said tool years ago I am grateful. It takes some work; jabbing it into the ground, twisting and wrenching, ripping up that tough top layer filled with root and unwanted growth. My arms were already sore from the previous begun cultivation, but without this particular tool? I can’t imagine the work it would have been. With all the tree roots in our yard, there was no mechanized way to really dig in – and I don’t mind having the chance to feel truly involved with this process.
There isn’t much that’s all that gratifying about jabbing, twisting, and pulling up clumps with the Garden Claw… nor is there much to take joy in while you use your hand fork to rake through the mess pulling out unwanted plant and root – inch by inch. Shaking loose the dirt held within each clump. But the next step? It makes it all worth the effort!
Feeling that dark rich soil that waited for you, hidden just beneath? It’s pure heaven. Watching and discovering the infinite life contained within stirs the soul in ways nothing else does. Connecting with the Earth at the most basic level, on your hands and knees as you commit each tiny plant to it’s home.
I’m not a gardener. I don’t know the names of all the crawling creeping things within the soil, nor do I know the names (common or proper) of the perennials we planted the last couple of days. But I do know that we all need to find a way to connect to our Earth. If you ever need to see deity, to feel the Earth breathe life and to know that we are all connected? There is no simpler way to do so than to pick up a trowel and go find a patch of dirt that has been lying in wait for someone to tend it – to turn it from dirt to soil. To create with it something amazing.
A bit cornball? Maybe. But that’s me.