A week or so ago, my loving wife called me a Dirt Worshipping Dog Hoarder. Granted I dragged the family 3 hours south to buy another dog, and yes I have been spending the day, sun up to sun down, outside getting dirty and sunburned for the last couple of weeks, but just like the Gamble Oaks bud out, make leaves and drop them to the forest floor, I have a job to do.
Each and every morning that I have awakened this Spring as
my loving wife is headed off to work, I have thought to myself, “I am going to
do some serious spring cleaning today…
I am going to pull out the stove and clean out behind it, clean the
fridge, take all the sofa cushions covers off and run them through the wash and
hang them on the line so that that wonderful spring air can infiltrate them.”
Despite my intentions, however, I haven’t done any of these chores.
We could blame a millions things…. I am lazy or unmotivated. I have ADHD. Maybe I am hoarding all the Legos, popcorn pieces, and wooden food that are jammed into my sofa. I think it is much more direct than all these things. There are no underlying problems. It’s Karma. Every action has a reaction.
|A happy hops plant.|
While in the Midwest the acorn grows into a mighty Oak, up on this hill the acorn grows into a small shrub called a Gamble Oak. Under the low hanging branches of Pinion and Juniper forest, the ground-hugging groves of gamble oak grow. Simply impassable to humans, the coyotes, rats, rabbits, and snakes enjoy a life oft too uncommon to wildlife in most of this country. Each fall these little shrubs shed their leaves much in the same way that their mighty cousins do Back East. Over the years the leaves pile up, holding tight to the earth below the ground hugging branches of the gamble oak, tight enough that the hurricane force wind of spring can’t blow them away. And there they sit year after year nurturing this rocky sandy soil.
As the Gamble Oak provides leaves year after year, I too
have a job. I am coordinator of
nutrients, collector and deliverer of water, nurturer of soil and plant, I
provide cover when a late frost threatens tender young plants. Before this Spring I didn’t know how to
serve her. This hill on top of
this mountain seemed incapable of growing food. Until, I listened.
All I had to do was listen.
|Our soil before and after.|
I do her bidding, and she thanks me with beautiful weather, sunburns, dirty tired children, ecstatic dogs, glories sunsets, endless vistas, and harvest.
I guess my loving wife was half-right when she called me a Dirt Worshiping Dog Hoarder the other day. My actions in service to this earth are a form of worship. I listen and provide for her and she provides for us.