Watering Dirt

Once during a family get together a friend and I compared favorite quotes. When it was my turn, I thought for a bit and then answered, “Bloom where you’re planted.” My daughters both said, almost in unison , “No Mom, that’s not what you always say! You say, “Water the dirt—you never know what will pop up.”

I think it’s obvious I’m a big fan of making the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. When my daughters were very small I was a young single mom struggling to create a career that would sustain us, I never had the funds for a highly polished and landscaped living situation. We always had to make due with a fixer-upper rent house, usually un-landscaped. I can smile now, as I remember standing in the dirt at the end of a very long day, a citronella candle burning and a watering hose in my hand. Watering plants can be satisfying and metatative. But by its very nature, watering dirt requires a strong faith in and hope for the future.

As I water, I see sprigs of grass in my mind and before long, I see sprigs of grass sprouting in the once-barren earth. I’d pay special attention to these. Often when I didn’t have time to do the whole yard, I’d just soak those tiny, hopeful sprouts. And they spread. Eventually they would connect with other tiny, hopeful sprouts and we would have a yard of sorts, with holes. Then, i’d hand water the holes. When I bought the property where my salon now lives, we had to remove about five years of oak tree leaves. So, when the leaves were finally gone I started watering the dirt of my new property. In about a year one side of my front yard had grass. As I was watering the dirt in the other side, a client walked by and commented as she saw me water, “What are you doing?” she asked me. “I’m watering my lawn”, I said. “Well, it looks like your watering dirt!” she said. I smiled and said, “Actually, I’m creating an environment which grass will be attracted to and encouraged to thrive.” Sigh. The true secret to life.

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