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.
One thing I know with assurance is that wishing doesn’t change things. But, those same wishes can inspire us to take action that does. Change happens slowly, gradually, with these sudden AHA moments of hope that cause things to leap forward. It’s not easy, it’s hard work, but it’s so worth doing.
I’ve said it many times before, but here it is again – just for clarity. I know I’m not the one who will change the world, but maybe I’ll inspire those who will. I know things can be better, heck, all I have to do is look at how far society has come just in the last twenty years.
The things members of the acronym community had to face when I was young, seem unspeakable and foreign to the youth of today. The physical punishment and torment, while so fresh in my memory, is a lifetime away for those who are currently discovering their sexual identities. Bullying is still alive and real – but it’s a very different type of attack. And I have hope that it too will fade into a distant memory.
My wish is one for my daughter. And it’s a wish that I hope will spur the action needed to see it come true. I wish that by the time she is old enough to be discovering her sexual identity that it will no longer matter how she identifies. She will be accepted as she is, for who she is, without question. It’s a big wish. But I know it can happen… after all, look how far we’ve come in the last decade, given one more, just imagine where we could be!
We all have pivotal moments that have shaped our lives. How we fit into our own skin, and how we interact with others. Some of those moments are defining in a wonderful giving way, and others… well… we grow out of the negativity into something hopefully better.
I was thinking today about one such moment. A negative moment that helped shape my view of people and the world at large. I don’t imagine the folks involved ever intended their words and actions to shape me and my view in such a profound way. I doubt they really thought much about it at all.
I wasn’t much more than a kid myself, it would have been when I was twenty or so. I loved their family, their young children and they themselves were like family to me. I adored playing with their two girls (one a preschooler, the other not much older). I remember the girls had asked me about something… but can’t for the life of me remember what it actually was. I knew it was something where a persons faith would impact the answer, and knew it wasn’t something that I should be answering for them – especially considering we had different religious views. But I also believe that honesty is best, and I’ll never lie to a child because it’s easier. So I told the girls that different people believe different things, and that this was something they should ask their parents about. Both girls were content with that answer, and the three of us continued playing make-believe.
Honestly, I thought this was a non-issue. The girls were content with my answer, and I hadn’t given them any information that would conflict with something their parents might say about the matter. So I was shocked, when the next day, I was approached very seriously by both adults.
They asked if they could talk to me, pulled me away from what I was doing, sat me down… and told me not to talk to their children any more. That I had no business telling their kids anything. And that they didn’t want me talking to them again.
I remember being stunned… and so desperately hurt. All I could mutter was an “okay”. They thanked me, and walked away.
The girls are now both in high school. And while I’ve spoken to them in passing. I have avoided any real contact between myself and them since that conversation. It hurts my heart every time I see them. Knowing that, at one time, we were so important to one another, and that now… while I’m in their lives, I’m not involved in them.
Any time we do anything with these people, it’s hard for me to think of anything else. I still love them, nothing will change that. They are family to me, and nothing will change that either. But there is a giant rift there.
In a moment they likely don’t even recall, they changed me. Deeply and profoundly, they changed me.
So think before you speak. Especially when you are a person in a position of love or respect in a young persons life. Without even thinking, you could be changing someones life. Make sure that defining moment, that pivotal moment, is a positive one.