This I Believe

Nellie - New Paltz
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature, work
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It was real hot that day; I mean sweat stained tee-shirt kind of hot. It was noon and I was sweating like an ice cold beer that been that had been left out, sitting there half empty, soaking up the summer sun. My knees were stained dark with mulch, and the dirt under my finger nails shined black against my pale skin. I was filthy.

I was so dirty that day, I had to strip down and hose off outside before my mom even let me in the house. Before I even finished pulling in the driveway, she was out on the back porch.

“ You can’t come in the house with those clothes on, I have spent all day cleaning! Strip down out side and scrub yourself off.”

I just laughed at her. As far back as I could remember my mother would spend all day in the garden. She would get good and filthy, pulling weeds and planting vegetables. At the end of the day she would stand on our back porch and take off all her clothes, right on down to her bare naked butt. If she were clean enough she would walk into the house and proceed to take a shower, but if she were too dirty she would remain standing on the porch cleaning her self off with the garden hose.

Since I was a little girl spring meant, warmer weather, and warmer weather meant playing outside, gardening, and getting dirty. When I was younger I would go outside and cover myself in mud, lie out in the sun and let it dry, and crack on the surface of my skin. Now, a day I get paid to dig holes, plant flowers, and pull weeds. Dirt flies everywhere through the course of the day, and most of the time I come home looking a good three shades darker than from the time I had left in the morning.

There isn’t a better feeling than spending all day getting real dirty, coming home and stripping down on the back porch, skin exposed to that hot summer air, letting that nice cold hose water wash over your skin. All those hours of work recorded in dirt, gone.

So go play outside, plant some vegetables, climb a tree, dig a hole, roll around in the dirt for a while. Because at the end of the day, when you look down and notice your skin isn’t the color it should be, you will be more than excited for that shower (or garden hose) that lies ahead.

I believe in getting dirty.