Welcome to the April Dirt. It seems to me that putting these two words together, ‘April’ and ‘Dirt’, feels very right for this time of year. This is the month when people start to literally get their hands into the dirt, preparing their piece of the planet for flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs. In some parts of the country it is also known as mud time, and for some with sensitive noses, the smell of soil warmed by the sun is an April delight.
Does your mind conjure up different pictures when you hear the words ‘dirt’ and ‘soil’? During a recent presentation at Green Meadow Waldorf School, Joel Salatin, a wonderful speaker know widely as America’s most influential farmer, said that to him, the word ‘dirt’ is hardly alive while ‘soil’ “is bursting with drama.” While ‘dirt’ sounds sort of empty, the word ‘soil’ allows us to better imagine the very real, invisible living things (billions of microorganisms!) that exist in a handful of soil; an unseen world in each palm-full of earth.
Take this month of April to consider the unseen. If one handful of soil holds billions of microorganisms, just think how much work, life and movement is going on ‘behind the scenes’ in the rest of the natural world.