planting late strawberries today
The other day, my son Prasad and I were preparing the garden bed to plant strawberries, and this thought came to me and I spoke it aloud to Prasad:
“As long as I keep my hands in the soil I will never get depressed.”
Prasad looked at me with a confused look on his face and I repeated it. I explained: as long as our hands are in the earth, as long as we are working with the soil, as long as we are connecting to this earth, we will never be sad. Our mother will always keep us happy if we root our beings in her.
Since that time, this truth has born itself out. On the days I am able to get my hands dirty, planting, digging, etc… I am extremely happy, enthusiastic about my life, clear headed, etc. And… on the days I am not able to dig and plant, I don’t feel so good.
Today, I planted strawberries until the balls of my feet ached and I could only hobble into the house. I noticed that it was like a “hit” of endorphins that smacked me in the brain. It felt amazing. I never knew that gardening could bring so much pleasure to my brain, heart, and mind.
(I wondered how it would feel to actually be those soft, tender roots. How wonderful they must feel: nurtured, hugged, loved, enveloped by the moist, dark, beautiful earth. They have found their home again.)
My dad (although he had a lot of problems of his own) was a voracious gardener. The garden was the one place I think he connected to a power greater than himself. He always got up at five in the morning and put on his rubber boots and dingy green robe and worked his many gardens. He always wanted me to go out with him, planting, weeding, etc. But I hated every minute of it as a kid. It was boring.
Now, many years later, I am amazed that gardening would bring so much pleasure. Maybe my pops is standing beside me, smiling, as I work the earth.
Just as he did.
posted by: Daniel