Many moons ago, we lived in the middle of the city. We had modern conveniences like sidewalks and asphalt. We were greeted in the morning, noon, and night with sirens. We had a decent-sized yard, all things considered. Getting dirty was downright luxurious. It was like winning the lottery when mom said to play in the mud.
That was then.
This is now.
We have two and a half acres...of dirt. Dirt roads, dirt driveway, dirt-covered bushes. Basically, it's dirt as far as the eye can see, broken up by desert growth and our lovely 3 foot berm of poop. You see, we bought this dirt with
poop factories animals in mind. So
we're fortifying our city gates with the materials they provide. You
want on our property? You're gonna hafta scale the poo. May the best man win.
We're classy people. Most of my children take Olympian leaps up Poo Mountain and arise victorious at its peak, complete with celebratory fist pumps. I'm trying to curb this bad habit. I really am. But I've had better luck nailing Jell-o to the wall. I've also caught them sliding down its treacherous sides like it's the black diamond run of poo skiing. This is accomplished on feet if I'm lucky...backsides if we have house guests.
Yes, I have to remind my children to not show off our poo pile to their friends. Yes, I've lectured my children about inviting their friends to scale up, roll down, and generally fling the contents of Poo Mountain. Yes, we are blacklisted from delicate play dates.
Then there's shoveling manure against the wind, which always results in a special full-body "dusting." I wish I could tell you how many times I've told a particular child to go shower off, because there's poop in her hair. She acts like this is ludicrous.
I showered yesterday!
Yes, but you've conquered Poo Mountain (congratulations, by the way-your gold medal is in the mail) and flung manure dust all over creation, sweet child. Contracting dysentery is not on our bucket list.
Dirty nails and smudgy faces are a daily occurrence around here. “Shoe checks” are mandatory. But mixed in with all that dirt are great life lessons woven throughout childhood memories. Hard work, the responsibilities of farm life, the joys of training a new animal, and the sorrows of burying one. The struggles are greater. The earth oftentimes resists yielding to the shovel, as we are wont to protest the shock of the Gardener's spade slicing away that which would stunt our purpose. Yet, the rewards are richly gratifying. Moldy kitchen scraps and manure mingle with cultivated soil and thoughtfully sown seeds to reap an inspiring bounty. When what we see is degradation and filth staring back at us in the mirror, perhaps He sees timely growth wrung from adversity.
In the end, we traded our sidewalks and asphalt for neighborhood games of tag on a bumpy back road; our sirens for the silence; and our yard for dirt. Glorious, filthy dirt.
And more showers.
Applying Soap Liberally,