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When Dirt Brings Hope



In this current Covid-world summer gardening has become the "next big thing". At the beginning of planting season here in the Pacific Northwest there was a short time where garden supply stores were out of many needed essentials to get the ground ready to plant the food and flowers of one's liking. I was fascinated by this, while also wondering if there may be purpose to our lives being shaken up in such a way that it caused the masses to slow down and intentionally become students of Mother Earth; to plant a seed and watch it grow.


I have been a novice gardener myself for the last 8 years. As a single mom for many years, I found a sense of adventure in using the small yard space we had at our rental at the time to experiment with planting different fruits, vegetables and flowers. I found peace in giving myself time each evening or weekend to go out and enjoy the sound of quiet to think, dream, and often catch a beautiful Spring or Summer sunset. I became shockingly inspired the first time I dug my hands in the dirt by the hundreds of gardening metaphors that would pop up in conjunction to matters in my life, or provide understanding and insight to being a human in this often strange and unpredictable world.


This season has been no different, and yet entirely not the same.


In just over two years I have:


- Moved three times

- Finished my 11 year stint of being a single mom

-Gotten married (hence losing my single mama status)

- Set up our new home

-Went from being in a high powered, high stress job to a full time stay -at- home mom

- Had a baby just as my oldest became a teen

- Was side-swept with the experience of postpartum depression and anxiety

- Lost my dearest friend

-Became burnt out with the faith community I subscribed to and had an identity crisis because of it.


Just as my mind and body was beginning to accept and jive with all of the above.. hello Covid-19! Suddenly my husband was working from home and my extroverted teen was undone at losing her social life and the structure that she knew, and the world as we knew it was no longer the same.


I'm not going to lie- I have not handled the mass transitions over the last couple of years well. I wish I could say that this pandemic has kicked me into high gear as super mom and wife seamlessly transitioning to our stay at home world, instead it kicked me into a mass state of out-of-control anxiety (more on that later).. and.. I'm sure nobody can relate (insert sarcasm).


In one brief moment of hope and clarity I became excited to plan a garden in our new home and space. I missed out on the previous summer planting due to being a million months pregnant, and was aching for the inspiration that only growing things brings. My husband had never grown a garden and he quickly joined in with building gorgeous garden boxes and encouraged me to get my hands in the dirt again. With every seed packet and start purchased my spirits began to lift envisioning little sproutlings arising from their dormancy to push through the fertile ground.


Because we live in the 'burbs and the soil is generally not great we had to plow the ground (thanks hubs!) and purchase a ton of soil to amend what was already there. Then came the fertilizer, because ironically for both plants and human it's the shit that we go through the lends to growth and life. For the human species we often buck at any possibility of pain, and these days it also seems like we are heavily uncomfortable with most forms of intentionality. Planting a garden involves both.


With the utter chaos that has hit the world and our home within the last year, I found myself so transfixed with the deliberation of planting a garden. It is non-negotiable to be aware of what exists in your soil, break ground, and add what is needed to sustain life. Putting those tiny little seeds into their new homes and covering them up causes intentionality to breed hope and for me; the ability to dream, if not just a little.


With that inspiration here I am, diggin' in the dirt and allowing myself to cultivate new things in all aspects of life. I will put what comes forth into this digital time capsule to look back on in times of uncertainty or despair. I don't know about you, but I need to write this ish down, lest I forget (and I do often). Welcome to the journey, my friends.

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