Well I know now the feel of dirt under the nails,
I know now the rhythm of furrowed ground under foot,
I have learned the sounds to listen for in the dusk,
the dawning and the noon.
I have held cornfields in the palm of my hand,
I have let the swaying wheat and rye run through my fingers,
I have learned when to be glad for sunlight and for sudden
thaw and for rain.
I know now what weariness is when the mind stops
and night is a dark blanket of peace and forgetting
and the morning breaks to the same ritual and the same
demands and the silence.
~Jane Tyson Clement from No One Can Stem the Tide
Our garden is over-producing so we freeze and dehydrate and give away and compost what we cannot eat now. It is a race to the finish before the first killing frost in less than a month.
Carrying dirt under fingernails is a badge of honor for the gardener. The soil that clings to our boots and our skin represents rhythm and ritual in every move we make – we know what is expected of us when we rise first thing in the morning and later as we settle weary under a blanket at night.
May there ever be such good work as we rise in anticipation every morning.
May there ever be such good rest as we sleep in peace, forgetting the demands of the new day.