When I dig my hands in the dirt and consider it pure therapeutic joy, I thank my mom in my mind, grateful for her love for the earth. She didn’t always garden, at least not until we had ten acres and horses and the free fertilizer they provided. And even then, she had a job to juggle, my emotions to handle (as a teen), and life to navigate.
We moved away from the farm to a suburban home, and that’s when the bug bit even more. But when she settled in her forever house, stately on a hill, with a large swath of fickle Northwest sunshine spotlighting the perfect vegetable habitat, she also settled into her gardener ways.
And I love that about her. I love that she knows 1,000 things about plants, that she nurtures them to wild, audacious beauty, that she understands the rhythms of the seasons, and glories in the organic.
It’s not only veggies and berries–it’s shrubbery and roses and lilies and ferns. Her yard, like my Aunt Julie’s, is a showcase of beauty.
And that’s one reason I love my mom.
She taught me this.
She dug the earth as a representative of stewardship. I didn’t always ask questions about such things. At times I thought her digging futile. But now I admire it. And I try to emulate it in the way I dig this clay-clodded earth in Texas land.
I’m grateful for the example she set of patient cultivation, of bending low to the earth to sing a seedling to life, of talking to plants, and eating their bounty.
So, Mom, thank you.
Thank you for loving this earth, for scraping, digging, and planting. For emulating what it means to tenderly nurse that which grows. In the process, you helped grow me.