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:: rooting down ::

April 10, 2012

The past few days I have spent reflecting and focusing on soil.  It started out as a functional foray into research of compost and soil composition, but shortly became much more.  Earlier this week I read the first edition of Taproot Magazine which focused on soil throughout its many well-written articles.  However, where I was looking for facts and figures about garden soil, I found metaphor and insight.

Particularly, an article from Jason Miller stood out to me: The Ground Beneath Our Feet. In this article, Miller discusses the layers of soil and the metaphor of our own existence within those layers.  He notes, “soil scientists refer to each layer as a horizon. Isn’t that perfect? Dig into the ground and what do you find? A horizon. Dig deeper. Another layer. Another horizon.  Isn’t it the same when we look into ourselves? Scratch back a layer of what you thought was yourself and what do you find? Another layer. Another horizon.”

How perfect is that analogy?  To broaden our horizons, so to speak, we need to look deeper into ourselves. Soil is not just the passive encasement for which a seed grows.  It nourishes. It respires. It is potential.   It is the past and the future.  What was once alive lends itself back into the cycle to create something new once again.  How amazing.

When you look past the dirt, the brown, the dry, the mud and actually experience what this soil is and what potential lies within it, it becomes obvious how the metaphor of horizons expands into self-discovery.  At this moment, I am the past and the future. Who I am is a compression of what I have experienced and what is yet to come.  I am not just a vessel for goals, dreams and experiences. I am the goals, dreams and experiences.  What an exciting prospect! A smile literally passes over my lips as I type.

Surprisingly, this whole thought process occurred as I was driving home with the kids after a visit to my parent’s. Daydreaming of gardens, compost, crops and bounty we cruised past the sign for our community: Goodsoil.  How apt.  For a place that just a year ago felt confining and not quite home, it has lately turned into a nice place to nestle. To put down my roots, so to speak, in good soil.

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