Posted by: Lexi
Question: How often do you think about the dirt beneath your feet? If you said often, or at all for the fact, I’ll love to sit and have a cup of coffee.
Often, dirt is thought of as dirty and something to get rid of and rarely as something that is alive and beneficial. Without soil and the millions and millions of microbes that live within it we and life as we know it would cease to exist. As my soil professor reminds us, “We would be up to our ears in last night’s dinner.” I’m almost finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl—finally getting to read on my free time!!!—and there was a blurb mentioned regarding farming and how lowly of a profession. This was of course the mid 1500s, but still. Where would our food come from without farmers? Our forefathers were farmers and yet currently in the US, under 1% of the population farms. Well, I’d like to raise that 1%.
Farmers work directly with the earth. Soil is not dirty, but a means to provide. I know I have to take something from you, Mother Earth, but I promise to put back as much as possible. I watched a movie tonight called DIRT and it was profound. Epic. It was emotional, sad, and uplifting all in the same. This movie just confirmed that I am in the right major and am passionate about the opportunities and learnings ahead of me. I urge you to watch this movie.
One man in the movie explained that when you hurt humans and animals they lash out and tell you they are hurting. The earth does not, or at least not in a way we understand. Maybe erosion is the Earth’s form of bleeding. There are too many places where we are cutting wounds and causing blood to flow. Especially during the Dust Bowl in the early-mid 1900s, and since then, we’ve lost 1/3 of our top soil in the last 100 years.
A lot of people are ashamed of touching dirt and getting their hands dirty, but WE are made of dirt, essentially. An African woman told a story that paralleled some human thoughts on the degradation and loss of our soil. A forest is burning down and the animals—elephants, giraffes, monkeys—that lived within ran away from the flames. However, they stood transfixed and watched while the fire burned their homes to the ground–too overwhelmed and distraught to do anything. A little hummingbird flitted to a nearby stream and gathered water in its beak and flew to the fire and tossed it onto the flames. The other animals looked at the hummingbird in disbelief, saying how can you possibly make a difference you if can’t carry enough water? The hummingbird replied, “I am doing the best that I can.”
So, even though it may be overwhelming with the immensity of the problem, I’m going to choose to be the hummingbird.