You might be thinking that the idea of the spirituality of dirt is really insane or you might be accepting the idea; after all our food is grown in the dirt. In many creation myths, dirt plays a key role in the creation of humanity and the world. In the Abrahamic religions God creates the first man from dirt. The Maya have a creation myth that states the first people were created from corn which of course grows from the soil. Now, how else is dirt spiritual?
“God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, “Ah!””
– Joseph Campbell
Where does a tree start to grow? In the dirt of course, the acorn lands in a sacred spot and takes root. Sometimes it seems like the odds are stacked against it from happening. Forest creatures like squirrels will squirrel them away for food. The seed may not get enough light or water to sprout. But, when a tree grows up to be a mighty oak it is in the place where you can see the spirituality of dirt.
“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.”
– William Blake
As a grain of sand is the world in your hand you see the connection to the Earth. Ponder the interconnectedness of everything and see how teeming with life a handful of soil is. It is actually life giving this bit of dirt, holding nutrients to feed the plants which feeds the animals and us. The spirituality of dirt is easy to see even without a microscope. On compost piles you can see the steam as the life inside breaks down and recreates life though broken down nutrients.
“A garden is the best alternative therapy.”
– Germaine Greer
Many people have great memories attached to gardening including this author. When I was a child my grandparents always grew a garden that I helped out in. As a child I saw the miracles of home grown corn, beans, spinach, and even apples from some apple trees. It became a yearly ritual to break and string the green beans in preparation for canning and the shucking the corn before cooking it and removing the kernels from the cob. As a child I saw the joy in gardening and felt the spirituality of dirt.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”
– Alfred Austin
You can really find yourself connect to the Earth through gardening and by seeing life spring forth the spirituality of dirt really comes through to you. Pick up a small spade and plant some seeds, you might even surprise yourself and see life springing forth from the dirt. Below is a video with a talk about spiritual gardening. One question remains; what will you grow?