For the Love of Dirt…

As far back as I can remember, I have been ok with dirt. As a child I was more than ok…I loved it!  l liked making mud pies, planting stuff or just digging for no apparent reason. Worms and rollie pollies were the best! But it didn’t stop at dirt. I was ok with any kind of messy mess. I was that kid at the beach with the  baggy drawers to the knees, full of sand. And my favorite meal… BBQ ribs, sauce running down to my elbows, straight to the bath after eating.

I have tried to clean up my act as I have grown and matured.

I still love the beach, but do not like to be seen in a swim suit. I would still love to play in the sand, but what does that look like fully clothed, surrounded by bikini people?

I still love BBQ ribs, but I won’t order them out in a restaurant. Fifty years into this eating thing and I still end up wearing my food. So, I consider this when choosing what to eat in public, and most of the time I come out fairly clean.

I still love the dirt. Spring planting is my favorite! The smell of flowers, herbs and compost makes me feel happy and alive. The other day, we had purchased some potting mix and several types of compost to blend together for planting our herbs. Richard had gotten a shovel and hoe out of the garage for me to use to mix it all up in a wheel barrow that we had borrowed from our neighbor.  I went to the garage and got my gloves….

I dumped all the different dirt stuff in the wheel borrow. I put on my gloves, grabbed a hoe and started mixing. There were some big clods that kept turning up in the stirring.  I would hit and bang, trying to bust them up. It didn’t work very well. So, I got in there with my hands and kept trying to get it all blended. Then, I looked at my glove covered hands and thought, “when did you start wearing gloves?”. I flashed back to my carefree childhood…to that “sand in my pants, sauce on my arms, dirt-all-over me, Mishelle”…..and I missed her…

I stared through tears at the dirt for a bit. The strangest things can make me cry these days. Then, I wiped my tears, took off the gloves and went all in. Cool dirt, clods breaking up and falling through my hands…it felt so good! I had a few thoughts of what my nails might look like when I finished….would I ever get all the dirt out, would my terribly dry cuticles stain… should I run in and get an appointment for a manicure and set of nails at 4:00?…..And then, at some point, I just didn’t care. I was up to my elbows…all in…glove free, care free…in the dirt, having the time of my life!


Here I am days later, typing this, and I’m not gonna lie….my hands look terrible. I’m ok with that. No more gloves for me! Now, will I sport a bikini at the beach this summer? Probably not. But, next date night…I’m wearing a white shirt and ordering the ribs.




Published by: Mishelle Phillips

I’m an empty-nester mom from Franklin, Tennessee. I live with my husband of 25 years, Richard. I am blessed with friends and family who love me, encourage me…and talk me into doing stuff that scares me. Over the years I have shared my writings with them and they suggested I start this blog. So…. here it is. I offer it with one hand over my face, peeking through my fingers as I click on the word “publish” … hoping with all my heart you find something meaningful here. Mishelle Phillips


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