Digging in the dirt

IMG_20160403_095702I mowed the lawn yesterday. It was a glorious sunny day in my corner of the world and it would seem that spring has finally sprung and all that jazz. Bringing with it those tasks that are to found out-of-doors.

I move outside this time of year, and I’m so happy that spring seems to have come a bit early. There is a peace I find outside.  I also love digging in the earth, and most of the time I do it with my bare hands. Screw gloves I like to feel the earth crumble between my fingers. I like to the raw textures of it all. Like the feel my hands when they grow heavy with caked mud that cracks as it dries.

For me, there is a fondness to digging in the earth. Stories of my great-grandmother and her love of her garden and growing things and her ways with flowers begin to swirl around me as I dig. My great-grandmother was from this very area I call home today. So as I dig in the dirt, I feel a strange connection to my past. However many years later and I’m digging just as those that came before me did, I’m attempting to grow and cultivate and learn and journey.

So my lawn. We have an intense lawn for the mowing. At first glimpse you would think to yourself, oh, how bad can it be? Well, not bad, per se, it’s manageable, but it is “intense”. For example, when I’m wearing my Fitbit, I get at least 90% of my steps in just mowing the lawn.

I am the official lawn mower, but that’s what happens when your husband is allergic to grass. The offer to purchase me a riding lawn mower has been on the table since we moved into this house, but I’ve declined it time and time again.

Why the hell would I do such a thing? I was contemplating that same question as I trudged through the mowing process yesterday. Nicole, you idiot. It would be easier, it would take one-fourth of the time, it would be so much faster. We live in an enlightened instant gratification society, take hold with both hands your moron!

Then my exerted breathing became synchronized and the loud hum of the mower quieted the part of my brain that keeps up a constant litany of things to do and there it was.

My thoughts blurred into my story line of late. How fun it’s been to recreate these characters, how said characters are interacting this time around. How solid the whole thing is coming together. And the elusive quest of the past week: what comes next? Well, it reared its finicky head and waved a hearty hello.

Oh, shit, well, hello to you too!

I love taking showers for the same reason, I’ve solved so many of life’s problems in the shower. But my book problems, I tend to solve those while I’m outside. Whether I’m hiking or mowing the lawn or raking leaves. The meditative powers of manual labor turns my thoughts to my books.

I’ve stopped halfway through raking leaves and said out loud, “Oh crap, he’s gotta die.” To which my kid remembers so well, that this past fall when we were back at the leaves, I was asked, “Mom, does someone have to die?”

*Note: another reason to get the writing career going is so I can pay for the kid’s therapy.

In the meantime, riding lawn mower be damned, I’ll take some active meditative practices and digging in the dirt to jumpstart the writer side of my brain.

One Comment

  • Lisa Baker

    I do so look forward to reading your blog. Always leaves me with a smile.
    Thank you for one of my weekly highlights. Your beautiful stories always jog some long forgotten memory.

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