A Small Handful of Soil

Last fall, I dug potatoes in the school’s garden with the kids on one of those crystalline autumn days rampart with sun and the darkening emerald of summer’s end. One boy reached down and scooped up a handful of soil. With his finger, he stirred through, unearthing a centipede, glacial pebbles, a shard of white quartz. Around us lay the garden opened up for harvest, the stalks torn free from the rows of potatoes, the tomato and cucumber beds emptied of their frost-killed vines. In this sizable sprawl of black earth, this child stared intently into a single handful of dirt.

Today, weeding, I thought of this child again. With what joy he would see what lay in this garden. When I finished what I could do, I stood back and looked over my small measure of order, the vegetable rows surrounded by tiny tiaras of crown vetch. I thought again of this child-sized handful of soil, the dirt now masked under July layers of stalk and vine and straw and leaf. And yet, it’s the soil we always return to, the mother of our sustenance, the ever-changing constant.

But cultivation’s hold is always tenuous. The sense of order and safety it imparts will change if you turn your back on it: the brush grows in, the night comes on, old fears crowd you. It’s a skittering truth….

– Jane Brox

Photo by Molly S.

Photo by Molly S.

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Small Handful of Soil

  1. Pingback: A Small Handful of Soil | stonysoilvermont | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s