Current Musings

Finding Fresh Dirt in My Life

If you dig deep into my history, you will find a lot of dirt. After all, I grew up on a farm where we made our living off the land — the dirt of the fields. Because of that experience, there is something about springtime and putting my bare hands into the soil that is soothing to my soul.

With the tired gray sky and cold giving way to warmer temperatures here in the Midwest, I grabbed hold of my shovel and made my way to the brown and rotted remains of last year’s garden. The worn, wood handle felt familiar in my hands as I pressed the metal blade into the soil and turned it — burying the old and revealing the new, fresh soil underneath. Shovel full, by shovel full, I tilled the small garden patch until there was only a plot of fresh soil devoid of the old, rotted plants from last year.

As I raked the soil to break up the clumps of dirt, I looked on in anticipation of the greenery that would cover the black dirt in the next few weeks. With seeds in hand, I made a trench with a garden trowel and slipped each seed from my hand into the open trench. The soil felt warm to the touch as I covered the trench with my bare hand, then firmly packed the soil with my palm.

For a moment I could feel the hope of spring as I compressed the soil. The warmth of spring would soon germinate new life, new hope. Soon shoots will poke through the packed soil and rise up into full grown plants, turning this black square of dirt into a green patch of hope filled with the promise of fresh produce. Such a reassuring feeling from the touch of fresh dirt.

Retrospective: This post originally published May 6, 2020.

© 2020 CGThelen

Artifacts from the dirt in my life from left to right: rotary hoe disk from a tractor implement on the farm where I grew up; the shovel I have used for years to till my small garden; worn disk from our six-row planter on the farm.

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