The Therapy of Dirt

By: Lydia Scott

Like most of us who’ve lived more than a few years, I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my life. I have done three stints in the “emotional improvement” medical facilities
during my first marriage; been to several counselors; and done the whole gamut of behavioral improvement prescription medications. While all of these things can be a Gardentremendous help to many people, none of them ever relieved my issues: stress and anxiety. I found two things that finally gave me peace and smiles: eradicating poisonous people from my life (divorce from said first marriage), and making things grow.

I’ve always loved Mother Earth and the mysterious wonders of her flora. Each plant has different needs and it’s up to you to speak their language and give them what they need to flourish. When I’m elbow deep in rich, black soil, with delicate seedlings in hand, I am at my most peaceful and fulfilled. My babies don’t always live, and sometimes it’s me that kills them, but they never hold it against me. I can say what I
like and they never share my secrets. As long as I pay attention to what they need, every day they will get a little strong, grow a little taller, shine a little greener, and bring me bigger smiles of satisfaction. They never whine or cry or scream or yell. They never rip or tear or maim. They just….grow and give. I can’t wait to walk around my yard and go to my garden deck everyday and see how these beautiful living things have progressed or if one seems to need extra attention. And when those bright, cheery blooms spring forth or we indulge in an especially tasty salad filled with garden-deck dill, parsley, and basil, my peace runs deep and my anxieties wash away.

GardenLong ago, my need for medications and head doctors dissolved. I learned that my stress came from myself and from living in a way that made me feel like I was running in useless circles. Green things, black dirt, and warm sunshine give me a measurable accomplishment that is not a life or death battle.

My private zen is indulging in a fresh cup of coffee in a pottery mug while rocking in a wrought iron chair on my garden-deck, sitting next to the vertical pallet planter my beautiful husband built me, surrounded by happy birds and rustling oaks. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh…

What is your bliss, your thing that calms your soul and soothes the savage beast?

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