“Play in dirt because life is too short to always have clean fingernails” – Unknown
My job has been a little stressful. Hell my life has been a little stressful. This year I decided to not do fall crops and begin prepping the garden for the winter. I have too much going on. This weeks tasks was to simply begin to take out all the old plants and start to prep the soil for winter.
After I got on my gardening gloves and grabbed my fancy garden tools I headed to the garden. When I started on my journey outside I had fifty thousand thoughts in my head regarding how my week has been going and what I needed to do. Even though I was listening to music to try to drown out my thoughts it wasn’t working and I will still running though check lists.
When I got in the garden and began tearing out plants and sifting dirt something odd happened. My mind went blank. I got in this rhythm. Take out the plant, sift the dirt, compost or don’t compost, make a trip to the trash can. It was such an easy flow to get into and I realized then how much I missed it. While dealing with all my stuff I didn’t go into the garden. When you make the decision to let the plants die there is no reason to go out there. No watering, no fertilizing or picking. I just watched the plants die from my office window.
What I was now doing was playing in dirt and letting all my issues fade. My husband jokes and asks me each time I come in the house if I’m done playing in dirt. I usually say yes and keep moving. Today something hit me. I am never upset when I’m in the garden. Even when things don’t go the way I want them to I’m never upset. If I need a break from reality I go to the garden. Being stressed and not gardening was a horrible plan.
I also thought about small children. Have you ever seen small children upset while playing in dirt? It’s impossible. Kids literally get to do something we always tell them not to do, get dirty. I think as adults we place too many negative images on playing in dirt. We think about pulling out weeds, cutting the grass, or trimming bushes. Chores instead of fun. I’ve decided I’m going to play in dirt a little more often and simply let it be what it is, fun.
If I’m pulling weeds, let’s get dirty and pull them. All yard work going forward as well as gardening just needs to be thought of as fun time with dirt. I always get amazed at what pops in my head when I simply just pause and stop making things more complicated than they are.