Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get Dirty!

Heirloom Tomatoes
Watercolor, 12 x 18 inches

Dirt First

This year, I've planted a vegetable garden. A neighbor volunteered to create a raised bed. I bought packs of organic seed and soil prep from a local farmer, pulled up rocks, tilled the soil, added layers of organic dirt, peat moss and sandy soil, then amended the mix with a seaweed prep. Finally, I planted seeds. Not, I might add, in a careful manner.

After noticing that I was worrying about whether I'd planted enough carrot seeds, I decided to take the play approach. Action without expectation of any particular outcome.

I've laid a good foundation. Nature knows better than I do. Something is bound to come up.

We live in a culture of impulse, immediate expectation and tremendous dissatisfaction. No matter how hard we work to stay on top of things, we tend to feel overwhelmed. Even when we do accomplish something, it can suddenly feel so 20 seconds ago. We're on to the next task. Where's the time for satisfaction?

Like it or not, we have to prepare soil before we can plant seeds. Then we plant seeds and nurture their growth. Water, sunlight, good food. The basics.

Like it or not, satisfaction takes time. Taking time requires patience. For many of us (myself included!), patience takes practice.

Instant culture fosters remarkable superficiality. Tomatoes from mega farms might look attractive in piles on supermarket shelves, but how do they taste? What's their nutrient value?

Slow down. Enjoy the unfolding season.

Get your hands dirty. Dig down deep. Ground yourself in the earth.
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