Tending the Soil

drivewayOn my trip to town this morning, one of my stops was at the gravel pit to get a load of crushed concrete. I’ve been buying this stuff for a couple of years now to refresh my gravel driveways.

I’ve found that I achieve a certain Zen while shoveling gravel. My body works hard, so the blood is flowing, the lungs are pumping, but the brain doesn’t really have much to do. So the thoughts start to come, and sometimes they are nice thoughts. Today I was likening the spreading of the gravel to the preparation of the garden soil. By making the effort to prepare the soil, the plants will hopefully feel welcome, put down their roots, and eventually bear the fruit we’ll benefit from.

I thought about this driveway too. It is our “guest” driveway. Alice and I use the driveway that connects the garage to the street, while our company generally uses this other one. I spend time each winter plowing this driveway, so our guests will know they are welcome… that they can pull in confident that they’ll be able to get out. Especially during the “mud-time” of the year, having a firm foundation for our driveway gives one the confidence to pull in.

Some of the best times of my life have been proportional to the parking of certain vehicles in this driveway (you know who you are.) As shovel after shovel of gravel came off my truck, and as rake-strokes smoothed the bumps, I clearly saw that the preparation of the garden soil and the driveway gravel as one and the same. Where a seed lands is often a matter of chance. If it happens to land on hard weedy soil, its chances of bearing fruit are limited. If it lands on well tended soil, the fruit potential is all the greater. It is up to the gardener to make the difference.

Leave a Reply