Today I picked fresh arugula and basil from our garden. Then, I tossed together a couple of home-grown tomatoes (heaven!) from the neighbor’s garden, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and linguine. It was a satisfying summer meal, a nice reward after working in the dirt for a couple of hours.
Earlier in the afternoon, I’d pulled on some lightweight clothes. I donned my wide-brimmed straw hat. I plastered my arms with sunscreen. Then I got down on my knees in the dirt.
No radio playing, no TV rambling. No one else joined me outside. Just me and the dirt and the occasional bug.
The sunshine, the breeze, the smell of the freshly turned dirt, the fragrance of the tomato plants, the sight of little blossoms on the squash vines, the bulging green peppers — it restored something in me. I felt warm and grounded.
I suppose I can wax poetic about this bit of physical exertion because I do so little physical exertion, except by choice. I am a paper-pusher (or, in this digital age, a clicker). I have to make time and choose to go outside and get my hands dirty and break a sweat.
The brain needs physical activity to literally keep the blood flowing into its folds, to metaphorically stay sharp and clear. This biological/physiological connection is why a walk does wonders for a worried brow or a frustrated mind.
Now, when I look out the kitchen window at the garden, I see neat and tidy rows of growing plants, at least for a week or so until it’s time to go out and spend a little time in the earth.