Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ground Value

Digging in the dirt brings out the puppy in me, and that's what I did yesterday afternoon.  Actually, all I did was pull weeds out of a flower bed back of the house.  Our little neighbor kids and their daddy walked over and sat down on the grass with me, and I thought that was about a sweet as it gets. 

I'm a farm girl at heart, so dirt is nothing new to me.  I never was dainty, and I never was a fuss budget either.  And, if somebody thought they'd have fun with me and throw me a double-dog-dare......well, I'd take the dare hands down.  I'm a tom-boy at heart, and maybe that's because I didn't have sisters.  I hung around with my brother and boy cousins, and they shared that wonderful world of boyhood with me.  We made imaginary guns out of sticks, we chased each other till someone fell, and we'd do battle in all venues, from out west to the jungles.  We fought, we cussed, but we always made nice when the battles were done.

I was told that the first cuss words that came out of my preciously adorable little mouth was at the age of 2 when I told a thing or two to our team of old plug horses.  I guess I put my hands on my hips and scolded Daisy, "Hosso bite, you usna bitch." 

Cussing was vital to farming in the 1950s.  It was critical to the family unit itself.  Farmer men swore, farmer women swore, and their children learn to swear from being around the swearing.  Tensions had to be released somehow.  I don't think that I'm exagerrating when I say this, but Catholic priests would have to admit that Swearing was the #1 sin confessed in the farming community. If not, then it would have been Lying.

Farming may be different today, but back in the 1950s, farming was darned hard and squeezed the sweat and life blood out of a man like nothing else.  Things were forever going haywire, hail ruined the crop that had to support the family, fences needed repair, bones were broken, thumbs were hit with hammers, and animals got sick and died.  The days unfolded into a litany of unexpected occurrences that took its toll on everyone in the household.  If daddy wasn't happy, momma and kids definitely weren't going to be happy either.  That was 1950s Farming 101.

The feel of dirt is good for us.  It brings us down to our own size.  We need to look down more.  There are those who go through life with their heads up in the clouds, but that ain't me.  I have too much respect for those who raised me to reverence the ground we walk on.  A flower bed is a simple way to touch the past, yet create the future.  Dig up the remains of last year's bounty and plant new.  Roll up the pant legs and sleeves, pretend being a kid again, and the ground will absorb our cares and give fresh and healthy abundance in return. 

Once again, Mother Nature has the secret elixir for whatever ails us.  She is generous and gives freely of her medicine.  All we have to do is.....dig for it!