This spring, much to the dismay of my husband, I announced that I wanted a garden. Nothing big, just a place where we could grow a few veggies and somehow feel at one with nature. And although I come from gardening people (my grandpa loved gardening and had really big gardens every year that I can remember) I didn’t have the foggiest idea where to start.
Enter our friend P.J. He had been growing some things in a campus greenhouse and it was time for them to go in the ground. So, he volunteered his time (and labor) one Saturday, gave us some stuff to plant, and we went to work.
I didn’t know how important dirt would be to the process.
We got top soil, peat moss, soil conditioner, manure and some other stuff that seemed pretty gross to me. The boys built a box and we filled it with all that compost.
I must say, the plants are thriving (as far as I can tell) and even quite inviting to a few little Peter Rabbits. And I’m thinking it has something to do with the dirt.
Peat moss is a kind of moss that has decayed. It holds water really well – which is important for plants that get full on sunshine most of the day. Manure – well, as gross as it is, it’s got important nutrients. And top soil – dirt – just plain dirt – gives the plants a nice little home from which to root and grow.
I imagine we all have our own compost from which we grow.
I can tell you, I’ve had my share of manure in the compost of my life. The hard times – the hurtful times – the times when life just stinks. These are the times that I’d like to forget – the things I’d like to remove from my story – but putting those things into the context of the compost makes me realize that they yield nutrients in some way. And, honestly reminds me that my compost isn’t all crap.
And then I can say with all confidence that I have people around me who hold on to the water for me. Those who remind me that there is much life to be lived – and they help by giving me relief from the heat and stress that could quickly make me wither. These are the people who, even when there might be a drought of kind words or love, they have the supply I need.
I am grateful that I have dirt that has given me deep roots. I don’t come from fancy. No, I come from what some would consider simple . . . poor . . . less-than. However, there is a richness of support and protection that gave me the roots to grow. On the outside it may seem like that dirt is simple, but there is a whole lot that makes dirt, dirt. There is nothing simple or poor about it. Without it, life would be shallow and incredibly vulnerable.
So, it makes it a bit easier to take things as they come because I know they all go into the compost pile. And there will never be too much of one thing – always just enough of what I need to grow.
I don’t know. Maybe I need to get a bumper sticker that says, “It ain’t ALL crap”. It’d be a good reminder on those days I forget.