The Need For Dirt


I sought my refuge in the garden – emotions having taken over me unexpectedly as I was doing other chores.  I needed to get my feet and hands into dirt.  I cannot explain that rationale, but it is what I need at times like that – the refuge I seek.

I stand with my feet in the dirt and assess what needs to be done.  Weeds and grass are growing where they shouldn’t.  I forgo the gardening gloves – I need skin-to-dirt contact.  I need dirt under my nails.  I need wood splinters in my hands.

Years ago when I took a tantra class, I would get so full of energy that I wouldn’t sleep – I would buzz instead.  I would not feel tired or anything – just flying high with the energy I kept generating through the class and exercises.  The tantra teacher, seeing me buzzing, pulled me aside and explained I needed to learn to ground.  “Give your energy – positive or negative – to the earth.  The earth wants it – the earth likes it – feed it to the earth.”  Then she explained how anytime she is full of energy to the point where it is bothering her, she goes outside and lays face-down in her grass.  As she breaths, she envisions pushing her energy from the sky, through her, and in the earth.  “At least go walk barefoot in the lawn – do something to get rid of it.  The earth wants what you don’t need.”

Until that moment, I never put a connection between how I was feeling and the fact I often sought the soil and my garden to help.  While I never sought it in times where life we making me fly high, I always sought it when I needed to get rid of the negative – the emotions that were pulling me down.  Until she explained it, I did not realize I had already made the connection.  I just naturally sought it.

So when I was quiet and my suppressed feelings came to the surface and hit me like a tidal wave, I went to the garden.  I dug in the dirt.  I ran my fingers through the dirt and got rid of the small weeks.  I breathed and focused on pushing it all into the earth – my anger – my sadness – all of it.  I pulled large weeds, trimmed plants, and smoothed dirt.  I focused on getting my garden in order.  I focused on what needed to be done. I focused on pulling the energy from the sky, through me, through my hands, and into the dirt.

I tried to put all I was feeling there – instead of letting it bounce around inside of me.

My garden is growing huge. Tonight we ate broccoli picked fresh from the plants. The strawberries are almost right.  The green beans I planted are getting big.  Lettuce is about ready to pick.  Tomatoes are thriving.  And my hops have outgrown their trellis; seeking higher places to be.  The rest are doing ok.  The weeds are not winning.

I came back inside, washed my hands, and tried to get the splinters out.  I felt more tired – but better.  For the moment.  I know in the end that the dark will come – my brain will turn on – emotions will start -and I’ll long for the garden and the dirt and all.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

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