The earliest joys, at least those that can be remembered, are most certainly tied to the soil, beginning with its warmth and smell, its texture, and its dense, composite makeup, which changes with every handful. I was drawn to it, as every child is who is fortunate to live where it has not all been ravaged and paved over, and I sought, and returned, its intimate contact. I can say now that I know why, and that I know something of the science behind it. But to this day, knowing what I do, I still experience the ground I walk on and the earth I dig in, and rake, and plant, in the same primitive, wordless way. I relish the poetry behind it. I relish the timelessness, I relish the love. I relish the crumbled mountains and the ancient dry sea-beds, each clump and grain of earth a living monument to the tides, and to the moon that was once torn away. This is how I know, as all children know and I knew instinctively then, that there’s no such thing as a foreign place, with foreign soil, or a foreign plant, creature, or man. How lucky we are that the earth takes us back again.
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Tags: Borders, Childhood, Intimacy, Joy, Love, Memory, Monuments, Poetry, Science, Soil, The Earth, The Moon, The Sea, The Tides