29 Oct 2014

It’s Fall and I’m Growing Underground


One of the things that I can’t get used to – even after 25 years – is when folks call soil “dirt.”


The dictionary offers these top 3 definitions for “dirt”:

  1. Any foul or filthy substance, as mud, grime, dust, or excrement.
  2. Earth or soil, especially when loose.
  3. Something or someone vile, mean, or worthless

Are you with me in feeling that number two just doesn’t belong there? When I hear the word used that way, I feel compelled to get down on the ground and defend the soil.

And truth be told, aren’t some of your most wonderful memories those of playing in sand, squishing clay, digging in the garden or even in a pot?

We resonate with the earth because we are of the earth. King Solomon says, “All came from the dust.”* And Adam is told that just as he originates from earth and dust, so too will he return to it.**

Growing up, through my teen years and till today, I have relished time with the soil, the earth, the dust. It brings me closer to my core and opens my heart and mind.

Here are some pictures and memories from one of the gardens I grew up in. And down below, two videos and some musings on growing with my current garden.

[one_half] 2011-11-28 07.31.05 [/one_half]

[one_half last=last] 2011-11-28 07.31.21 [/one_half]

[one_half] I grew up playing in the veld across the road from our home. A place where I saw hadedas for the first time through the smoke of an African fire.

[/one_half] [one_half last=last] Later, in a different home, I played between bamboo that grew beside the clay court overrun with grass. [/one_half]
[one_half] 2011-11-28 07.35.26 [/one_half]
[one_half last=last] 2011-11-28 07.39.10 [/one_half]

[one_half] I traveled the globe from the feet of the eucalyptus tree,

[/one_half] [one_half last=last] and ate apricots off the trees in the orchard…

[one_half] Our Home [/one_half] [one_half last=last] Then I moved into a
on the fifth floor
of a Brooklyn

For 20 years…


Now I live on the ground.


The garden out back
is not much longer
than the corridor of my childhood home.

[one_half] [/one_half]

[one_half last=last] [/one_half]

[one_half] We love each other. [/one_half]
[one_half last=last] And she has much to teach me. [one_half]

As Fall moves forward into Winter and I sowed the seeds, I prayed to G-d.

I asked for the humility of a seed and for its resilience. These flowers are going to push through the earth in the Spring and reach for the sun. Their humility doesn’t mean they lack a sense of purpose. Similarly, I don’t have to surrender my vision. But I do have to let go of my ego agenda.

And even deeper than that – I have to have the courage to go underground and dissolve there if I am to grow. One of The Method’s most powerful Isms is, “You have to die in order to live.” I’m hoping to be able to do that – again.

*Ecclesiastes 3:20
**Genesis 3:19

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may be interested in The Method module called Do Think which explores the ongoing cycle of plant life as a metaphor for personal growth.

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