Want to sound smart…?
Arch your eyebrows in a worldly-wise manner, then whisper: “Follow the money.” Only these days the trip no longer has as many surprises. Most of us already know we spend too much on the wron stuff — fats, sugar, salt, liquor, and artery-clogging spectator sports. On top of that, our annual gun sales top $5 billion, while our annual military spending tops $700 billion [$250 billion more than Medicare].
Sure, there are plenty of fiery fiscal and moral arguments we can throw at such excesses. However, instead of arguments, what about alternatives? As in all those green alternatives just waiting for you and me at our local hardware and garden center this month. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a Spring of sorts out there. Like it’s happened every year for roughly the last 4 billion years. It’s that time when most of the cosmic specks from the Big Bang experience their post-winter version of planetary renewal.
My Uncle Walt was raised on a farm so he always insisted: “At the end of Spring day, you should smell of dirt.” Watching him romance the soil down in Southern Illinois gave me a child’s romantic ideas of what he was saying. But only now have I learned what he meant. There is so much intrepid concrete, steel and technology in our lives, the last thing our hands get is dirty. They’re never in the earth.
How tragic, when the earth beneath us is not only what holds us in place, it lets us fly into the sublimates of summer harvests. That doesn’t have to mean 40 acres of hard-grunting farming like Uncle Walt. How about no more than half an acre of backyard beans, squash, carrots, radishes, and especially the enduring love fruit itself, tomatoes? While you consider these edibles, there are also the watchables. Roses, lilacs, peonies, petunias, sunflowers, hyacinth, honeysuckle, on into fragrant forever
Don’t get me wrong! If getting dirty tilling and planting all these glorious gifts of nature seem a little beyond your sissified citified ways…do like I do. Linger over my neighbors’ backyards. Plenty of Spring with almost no dirt….
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