Dirt and lessons learned
I can still see myself sitting between a row of butterbeans carefully rubbing dirt on every inch of my legs, arms and any other body parts that weren’t already covered. My mother was chopping weeds further down the row.
I can also remember why. I wanted to get as dirty as possible so that when I got home and took a bath, I could get as clean as possible. I guess you could call it a science experiment. How does the feeling of complete filth compare to the feeling of squeaky clean? Which knee holds the most soil, the right knee or the left? I can still feel the coolness of the dirt that I applied to my legs. This childhood game required nothing but dirt, a child’s body, and later, a bathtub, water and a lot of soap. It taught the appreciation of nature, concentration and good old hard work.
At the same time, I saw another lesson demonstrated. It was a lesson in patience from my mother chopping further down the bean row. Already tired from battling weeds, she now had to drag home a child covered in dirt. I never remember being scolded or punished for getting so dirty. I only remember the love and kindness that it took to get me clean again. Blessed with maternal wisdom, my mother knew that “my dirt experiment” was just as important to me as a thriving garden was to her.