As I plant my bare feet in the dark soil, the signal goes to my brain clearly, “It’s finally summer.” I love the feel of warm dirt under my feet and sifting it through my fingers comes second. It’s the child in me I hope never dies.
Gardening is something I have loved for years. More recently, I have had to rethink how I go about doing this so I don’t end up plopped down in the dirt. My balance plays tricks on me and my right leg has a tendency to not work as I will it to. MS can be dirty business at times but I refuse to give up and give in.
So as my husband placed the tomato plants, I weeded the dirt to give the plants a clean start. I generally use gardening gloves but I do have a nail file and use it often. Soap works wonders for getting that grime off my fingers.
Planting vegetables is the opposite of housework. We water and weed the plants and eventually we see the fruits of our labor–fresh food for our table. Housework has a short-term effect. You dust, vacuum and polish but in no time at all the dust and bits of dirt and paper end up on the furniture and floor all over again. It’s an endless cycle with a short-term reward.
Gardening begins in late spring and continues through the fall season with many rewards. The first bite into that tomato you pick is heaven-sent for sure. The Good Lord willing, if your garden is abundant, you have the pleasure of sharing your harvest. That is another joy in itself.
So I run the garden hose water over my dirty hands and feet and once I’m cooled and clean and rest a bit, I tackle the next small job in the yard. I love this cycle and the change of seasons.
These days remind me of an old Girl Scout camp song:
“There’s a blue sky way up yonder, there’s a blue sky o’er my head.
There’s a blue sky way up yonder that’s a cover for my head.
So no matter where I wander and no matter where I roam,
There’s a blue sky way up yonder that’s calling me home.”
I just know in Heaven God will give me plenty of blue sky and, yes, green grass with dark, moist soil underneath for me to wiggle my toes in. But I’ll enjoy it here on earth for now and count my blessings I can still enjoy these small treasures, even if I don’t run the meadows. I watch my grandchildren do that.