Getting My Hands Dirty

I grew up in an apartment in Brooklyn, so gardening was not a pasttime of my youth.  Even now, Dave does most of the gardening.  Our prior arrangement, when we first moved into a house with a yard, was that Dave’s domain was the flowers and mine, the vegetables.  But after putting up with my overplanting as long as he could stand it, Dave took over the planting of both.  My quip re the vegetables has become, “Dave sows, I reap.”

But there is something special about working outside.  I spent a good bit of time earlier today raking out the leaves which served to protect various plants during the winter months.  It was hard work and required care to not disturb some of the early growth, but it felt so good.  I’m not sure if it is the consciousness of the change of seasons, the feel of the sun as I labor, seeing the green emerge from beneath the leaves, or just getting my hands dirty – likely it is some combination of all – but I came in from my work with a feeling of well-being and peace.

Even those of us who have academic jobs like the one I have are not meant to sit at our computers all day. And while I’m happy there is a Snap Fitness around the corner I can go to early mornings to work out, there is no substitute for getting outside.

So go get your hands dirty.  If you don’t have your own yard, join a community clean-up, or help a friend in their garden.  Get outside.  And enjoy.


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