Earthly Pleasures

Some days the landscape of our yard is surreal – garden tools lie strewn everywhere, marking the paths we travel from garden gate to chicken coop to barn and back again. Despite the disarray, the scene doesn’t feel chaotic to me, but strangely comforting. I’m captivated by the weathered wooden handles, the dirt-encrusted rusty tines, the dinged-up blades of old rakes and hoes and shovels – so many of them passed on to us by other Island gardeners. I’m fascinated with the visual patterns that stones and cart wheels and twisted chicken wire create across the hen-pecked grass and the pine-studded horizon. When I look at the peeling soles of my boots and the stretched-out fabric of my gloves, I see the shapes of my feet and hands lingering. I recall all the tactile pleasures of working outside: the warm sun on my face, the gentle tug of my straining muscles, the curious childlike thrill that comes from digging in the dirt.