Dirt. What even is it?
This definition doesn’t make it sound any more appealing. It’s just a “substance”. But when you think about it, without dirt none of us would be here. All plants need dirt and we need the oxygen from plants. So we need dirt. But I really have this love hate relationship with dirt.
Showing up to a raked field with fresh chalk lines is one of the most beautiful visions of dirt I can imagine. Knowing that my boys will be competing and living their dream out on that dirt is gorgeous. I really love that dirt.
The tractor that comes around to prep the field between games, blowing a storm of dirt over us on the bleachers is not so gorgeous. I hate that dirt. Have you ever blown your nose after a game on a dirt infield? Try it some time.
I love that my kids get dirty on the field. We often call my youngest son, “Pigpen” because he’s usually dirty before the game even starts. When they get their pants dirty diving back to the base to avoid a pick off or sliding in to score a run, that dirt is lovable.
But, when we get home, they take their baseball pants off, and the dirt falls all over the laundry room floor, I’m back to being a hater. It’s ground into every inch of those pants and the fear and terror of leaving them to sit out overnight without at least putting some stain remover on them keeps me from sleeping. I know I’ll pay the price later when I break a nail off scrubbing them clean.
There’s a sense of calm that comes over me when the high school team tends the field after the games and practices. Watching them rake and hose everything down is very soothing. The dirt looks quite beautiful all damp and smooth. I love it.
But, when my son gets in the car and forgets to take his metal cleats off, all caked with dirt that’s sticking to my entire front floor carpet…did I say I loved dirt? In fact, it’s not even dirt. It’s mud. Sometimes they really overdo it with the hosing and there’s no way out of the gated field except through a puddle, which my kid always manages to step in. And mud is the worst kind of dirt to have in your car. Am I right?
Over the years, I’ve grown to love gardening. I usually wear gloves if my hands have to be right in the dirt, because I don’t like having it under my nails, but I don’t mind getting dirty doing it. Having beautiful flowers and plants makes it all worth it. I love what grows from the dirt.
So, I look at it this way. That dirt out on the baseball field is growing my kids. They are blossoming from being in that beautiful, messy dirt and it’s nurturing them to learn all kinds of lessons about hard work, success, failure, people, teamwork, and themselves.
Did I mention I love dirt?