Monday, April 5, 2010

I need a break, so I'm getting dirty

What do you do when you need a break?
I read, which is nice andn clean. But my friend Linda Clare has a different take on needing a break.
Linda Clare: I’m a workaholic. Or maybe I should say I’m a write-aholic. In order to tear my whirring thoughts away from inventing characters, thinking of plot or how I can “fix” a broken story, I have to get dirty. Really dirty. Last Mother’s Day, I really needed a break. My husband gifted me with dirt. Four yards of it. I jumped up and down and squealed, “I love it!” We set about building raised beds for a backyard veggie garden. Last summer I planted, watered and tended a colorful array of edibles, from tomatoes to broccoli, green beans to red potatoes. I battled aphids and plucked cutworms, fought off fungi and even scared off a couple of raccoons. I harvested a bounty that rewarded my efforts. I relaxed, communed with God and nature and recharged my writerly batteries.

This year may be different. Like thousands of other Americans, my husband and I have to move. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’re losing the home and garden I love. We don’t know what kind of home God has for us, and at times I confess I feel overwhelmed. How can I leave the neighborhood I’ve grown to love? Can I start over? Will any other place feel like home?

In the middle of this turmoil, I definitely need a break. My spirit yearns for a resting place and in my mind’s eye, I see a beautiful garden. The simple pleasures of gardening refresh my body, mind and soul. But perhaps I don’t need to lose my favorite way to get away from the pressures in my life. Even if we land in some tiny apartment, I’m taking some of that crumbly rich planting soil with me. I’ll be the writer up to my elbows in some of the best dirt on God’s green earth.

Well, if getting down and dirty, literally, works for Linda, then I'm sure it works for others, too. In fact, I know it does because I see a lot of very beautiful and boutiful gardens in my neighborhood.

So here's my question/thought of the day. Would getting dirty work for you? I think that watching things grow, knowing the plants stared from seeds is a pleasant and relaxing thought. I'm not an outdoor gardener, but I have a number of houseplants that I grew from seeds. One is a Basil plant, a garden herb, that grows on my kitchen windowsill. I encourage you to try it. It works.

I invite you to visit Linda's bog at


  1. Hi Gail,
    Thanks for having me guest here. I want everyone to know that while I'm sad about the house, I'm overjoyed with the power of the Resurrection! He's risen, alleluia. Linda Clare
    The Fence My Father Built, Abingdon Press

  2. Dirt. No. Definitely. Not. I am not an outdoor person at all. Giving the dog a bath is as dirty as I care to get. One of my best friends is a wonderful gardener. Her yard is filled with beautiful things. I love beautiful flowers. But someone else can grow them. My daughter likes to plant. We're right now trying to figure out how to get a garden done for her without the dogs digging it up. She has a green thumb. Mine is definitely black. LOL

    Linda, so sorry about your home. Three of my husband's siblings live down our street so we would be very sad to move away, but sometimes God has other plans. I hope you find many blessings wherever you land.