An Old Song
Spring brings out a different side in me. Perhaps I should say different sides… Part is joy – thrilled with the new life and blaze of color — the other part is deeply nostalgic. As I was taking my early morning walk the other day, soaking up the greenness (since we’ve had an abundance of rain this spring), the phrase of an old song drifted up from my subconscious into my awareness:
‘Twas so good to be young then
To be close to the earth…
It’s a line from The Green Leaves of summer — a real oldie. It was the phrase “to be close to the earth” that captivated me. The melody stayed with me most of the day.
I was incredibly fortunate as a child to be close to the earth. The land behind our house was a wooded area. It must have been at least two or three acres – big to me as a child. I have no idea who it belonged to. I have no idea where our backyard ended and that other property began. But it was my playground.
Add to that the fact that my parents raised a huge garden. On a warm summer morning, just as it was getting warm enough to go barefoot, we could go to the strawberry patch (only one section of the massive garden area) with pans and kettles and pick – and eat – strawberries to our heart’s content. Later the raspberries came on. The field of sweet corn was separate from the garden, but it produced a bumper crop of roasting ears. Fresh tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, lettuce, radishes, watermelon, the list goes on, were all a natural part of my growing-up memories of spring and summer.
The aromas of growing things are indelibly etched into my mind, my subconscious. Not much time was spent indoors in the summer. I was close to the earth.
I had the privilege recently to ghostwrite a book for a naturopathic doctor from Israel. (He was also an MD.) His book was mainly about alternative medicine (original medicine, I like to call it) and how the body is designed to heal itself.
In that book he explained how he would at times purposefully go to a secluded area and just lie on the ground. Not do anything – just lie there.
His scientific explanation for what happens when the human body connects with the earth was much deeper that I care to delve into here. Needless to say, it had to do with being close to the earth. It’s definitely how God designed each one of us. To me this seemed the perfect exercise for a novelist to carry out!
Time to Dig
So in the spring, I can’t wait to get out into the yard and start digging and planting. It’s just so good to be close to God’s earth. I get a natural high from the aroma of good rich dirt and rotting leaves. (My compost heap.)
Many children today are bereft of the ecstasy of being close to the earth; the experience I enjoyed as a child, and continue to enjoy today. I wish it were not so.
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