Playing in the Dirt

I should have been working on paperwork or the pile of dishes. Instead I found myself in the midst of my flower bed. Instead of wearing my usual grubby flower bed cleaning clothes, I was wearing my jeans with a black belt, my little cute black shoes and a nice t-shirt.  What was I thinking?!!? The boys played outside. It was a beautiful day.  I decided to dig in the dirt.

I should have been checking my email to find out what important tasks or information I was missing related to my responsibilities.  Instead of wearing my gardening gloves, I was letting the fresh dirt sift through my fingers. My hands were dirty and getting scratched. I felt a worm squiggle across my fingers. The smells from the dirt transported me back to the days of making Oscar the Grouch soup in my mother’s bird bath.

I should have been taking care of paying bills and making phone calls. Instead I was digging up unwanted bushes. I thought of the flower beds we bought with this house almost twelve years ago. I thought about my pre-kids days when I would take a couple days off of work, my aunt would fly in from the Midwest and we would garden for days. Oh the money we spent on mulch and rocks and pretty flowers. Oh the time we spent running from store to store searching for the perfect perennial to put in the perfect spot.

I stepped away from the piles of pulled out bushes and raked up flower bed debris. How funny that in the midst of the bushes and dirt, I found enough lost sidewalk chalk to create a whole new bucket. The memories of yesterday combined with the moments in the present. And a whole new slate of dirt and openness to start to plan. A newness. A freshness. An opportunity to play in the dirt.

I’m attempting to take part in the “The Fifth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge” through the month of March. The challenge is run by Two Writing Teachers.

4 thoughts on “Playing in the Dirt

  1. says:

    Aside from the tactile and multi-sensory vividness of this piece, there are a couple of tensions held in a careful balance — past and present, responsibility and enjoyment. Nice combination of immediate experience and deeper meaning. Sweet slice! 🙂

  2. says:

    Sometimes you just got to play in the dirt, Jessica. Spontaneity is to be cherished, I think, because it is so ‘child-like’ and full of wonder. I really liked the way you described the play: ” Instead of wearing my gardening gloves, I was letting the fresh dirt sift through my fingers. My hands were dirty and getting scratched.” So lovely.

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