Water and Dirt… (but not for mud pies)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Toy Story.”

Among many of my favorite things as a child, two were water and dirt. They still are. I spent an ample amount of time outdoors as a kid despite having grown up in the city. Particularly fascinating to me was the small carrot garden we had or were attempting to have. Often I was so excited when I saw green shoots sprouting from the ground and since I lacked patience I would tear them up. I was disappointed when there was no carrot. But I loved the feeling of that rich dirt. Patches of our yard were dug up and flowers possibly ripped out. The feeling of the dirt was soothing. A particular delight was when there were earthworms wriggling around and roly polys curling into a ball of safety as my rough child hands scooped up mounds of dirt.

And water. I like drenching things in water. One of the neighbors down the street had a leaky hose outside of his garage. I would run over to his house and gently place one of my toys underneath the leaky hose until it was thoroughly drenched.

Then we moved. Our new backyard was bigger and had way more dirt. I liked to pretend I lived in the mountains. I dug holes and filled them with water to form lakes. I dug out ravines for rivers to run down mountains and drain into the lakes. The lakes and rivers were short-lived as the water would seep into the dirt and disappear. But I was not to be discouraged. I took trash bags from the kitchen and lined the bottom of the lake. Then I placed rocks in to add to hide the plastic. Lakes were formed but quickly would become filled with dirt the wind blew in. All I wanted was a crystal clear lake.

Water and dirt are still influential in my life. I have lived in the woods next to oceans and lakes surrounded by mountains. Whether gardening with family of friends I still love the feel of the dirt in my hands. The smell of damp dirt when there is a misting rain. And water. The source of life. The peace and joy from being enveloped by an impenetrable crystal blue mass of water.

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