Hands In The Dirt

hands in the dirtGentle readers, I promise you that I tried to plod through the drama of the past two weeks.  I did.  I DID!  But then…I got swept up in the whirlwind and found myself trapped under my house and my ruby slippers were stolen by this chick carrying a dog in a picnic basket…

Okay.  Maybe not.

Anyway, I lost my footing and slid down the hill into chaos and knew not how to find my way out of the mire.  Then, this Sunday, I thought to myself….”go weed.”  So I did.  When I came back inside, I felt more grounded (heh, grounded.  Get it?) and able to concentrate.

Today I was sitting at work stewing about some of the things I’ve got going on, and I thought “when I go home, I will weed.”  So I did.  And now I feel centered again.

I have a love / hate relationship with the grounds of the Palatial Horvath Estate.  Sometimes I look out and I see an overwhelming jungle of despair.  I don’t know how I can possibly do all that needs to be done.   Sometimes I get angry at the land for demanding my time when so many other things need to be done.  Sometimes I feel dread and fear because I know it is too hot  to be outside and there is so much to do and it all seems to need to be done all at once and everything just keeps growing.

Then I have a period of total ridiculousness in my life and I know I need to go out and weed the garden.  And I do.

It’s not that I love weeding.  I don’t.  It’s not even that I love gardening all that much.  I really don’t.  I’m not one to spend hours in a garden center or flip through seed catalogs.  But for some strange reason, the act of weeding centers me.  Yeah, I don’t understand it either.

I distinctly remember how I felt on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked.  I was at work, but we weren’t working.  We were just standing, silent, watching the news footage, clutching each other because it was too awful.  Too unbelievable. I felt like I had lost my moorings to the universe and I didn’t know what to do.

So I went home and weeded the garden.  I got my hands in the dirt.  And it comforted me.

I don’t know what it is, but the connection between me and the soil, between my hands and the earth beneath them, centers me and helps me to think.  Fortunately for me, my gardens are wild untamed and unruly places.  There is always an opportunity to weed, if I choose to take it.

Then I come back inside and face the world again and it’s a little bit better.

Now if only I’d recognized that young poison ivy plant before I pulled it….




  1. Margie Shepherd says

    Grow where you are planted.

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