Thursday, May 3, 2018

Getting the Dirt on Soil

In the course of time Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. Genesis 9:20
Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. Genesis 4:3
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19

Mari Lane Gewecke opened her article in the gardening section of L Magazine for May 2018, saying “When you stroll on the lawn and in the garden, you are walking on an interconnected web of life. The top several inches of soil is teeming with all manner of life, from worms to centipedes, from ants to slugs, from bacteria to fungi. There is a lot going on down there."

We don’t think about all the items we are stepping on, or how amazing soil really is in our lives. There is the joke about the guy telling God he could make a world too but asked God for some soil. God said, “Make your own dirt.” That stopped the man abruptly. I like dirt. I love to get my hands in the fresh turned up soil in the spring and plant flowers and vegetables. I put them in the dark moist stuff and they grow. Our food comes from the soil.

We all know this, but what about all the other things we do with soil. Of course, we walk on it and we are buried in it. These aren’t small things. We build our houses on it, contain our waters with dams of soil and our irrigation canal walls are soil. We build our roads and ramps with it and drive our cars on them. Our mountains have raised up from the soil, the bottoms of our oceans are soil, and the wind blows it from place to place. The trees are stabilized by it, our fences depend on the soil to stand straight and our trash is buried in it. Our cattle and all animals use it for their sewer and the soil is replenished by this abuse as the animal waste is used as fertilizer to grow more grass or food for us.

The gravity of the earth keeps us on the planet’s soil. The rain normally doesn’t flood our areas because the soil absorbs the moisture. Soil can be used to put out fires, pour our drinks in and put out cigarettes. The layers of soil filter our water to make it clean to drink again. When loaded into sacks soil can stabilize our patio umbrellas and a child can play in soil all day long. What would we do without it?

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, you put under our feet a miraculous material which we use every day and never thank you for it. Today, I thank you for dirt. Amen.
Sandra Hilsabeck

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