Monday, June 13, 2016

Dirt is a good word. It's short and strong. The word stands for something rich and fundamental to life on our amazing planet. I don't know for sure, but I think it must be made out of a bit of everything. Rock and leaves and feathers and shedded snakeskin; potatoes and whiskers and paper cups and watermelon seeds; seashells and seaweed and mistletoe and lost socks. It would take me a few thousand pages to list everything.

Almost everything we eat relies upon dirt as much as it relies upon water and sun. Dirt loves up the trees and the corn and the shrubs covered with berries.

Dirt comes in many colors. Our dirt in south Louisiana was black in the 1950s and 60s. When we drove up through Alabama, the dirt we saw was a deep reddish orange color as we approached the Smoky Mountains. Some dirt ranges from beige to nearly white.

When we were kids, digging was fun. There were worms and beetles and mites to be found. Was it The Three Stooges who taught us on television that if we dug deep enough, we would come out in China?

The lady who helped care for us when our parents were out of town gave me a spoon and a pan. She came back and poured water on a bare bit of earth, and left me to it. It was fun making mud muffins.

Life is good, and dirt isn't bad. Dirt is essential to earth's goodness.

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