August 12, 2007

Digging In

Digging In is a book I just finished, by Robert Benson. Rebecca Kolls's comment on the book front says, "This is what gardening is really about...not only getting your hands dirty, but the experiences and life lessons that grow from the garden. Touching, funny, and delightful." I agree.

Benson says within, "any patch of dirt, no matter how large or how small, if tended a little bit, holds within it the possibility of enough beauty to take your breath away. It can grow something that will catch your eye and touch your heart. It can give you something to look forward to when the days are dark and cold."

After winter I do look so forward to the garden season (though I extend it with a cold frame that I grow salad makings in over winter). Some people probably think me crazy when I say, "I can't wait to get my fingers AND toes in dirt"! And I have been in the dirt a lot this summer, and making great 'dirt' with a compost bin that's working great.

"After such a day my fingers are bleeding, knees tottering, back bent, dress muddy and soaking and shoes an offence...but I have attained the most profound inward peace." - Anna Lea Merrit

Now that I'm older, I so identify with the quote. I'm feeling it right now after spending a good part of the day in the vegetable garden weeding, planting more spinach, onions and radishes, and fertilizing.

From the book again - "Gardens are about waiting and about hope as much as they are about anything... You cannot hurry it along, not any of it. What it teaches you is to wait, to be patient, and to pay attention."

This place we live in, we have definitely dug ourselves in. Transplanted in 23 years ago and have put down deep roots. Lots of memories. The life to be lived here this day, the life in which we live and move and have our being, is right here. And it must be nurtured, watched over, and tended to.
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