Sunday, August 29, 2010

Missing my Grandmother's Dirt

Last night we watched the movie Bottle Shock, a movie about how Napa Valley wines won respect in France. It's got great messages about love of the land and commitment to a large vision, whether it be a vineyard or more opportunities.

There were several speeches where characters waxed euphoric about the soil. My spouse and I can wax euphoric about the farmland where some of our family members still live. And I still miss my grandmother's compost strip. She didn't compost in the highly scientific way that so many of us do these days. No, she simply collected her kitchen scraps and several times a week, she dug them into the soil along the separate garage in the back yard.

She did this long after she stopped gardening. I now wish I had collected some of that dirt more regularly. It was black and luscious looking. I bet it would have grown anything. When I'm back in Greenwood, South Carolina, I occasionally drive by the house. I wonder how the current residents would react if I stopped and asked for permission to dig up some of the dirt out back by the fig trees.

And then I think about how odd it would probably look to the airline security people. I know that my husband has been steadily composting our own kitchen scraps and lawn refuse, and perhaps some day, we'll have soil as good as those our families enjoyed in Indiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

No we won't. We don't have that kind of time before we either die or the sea swallows up this part of the peninsula and returns the soil to sand.

But in the meantime, we'll continue with our garden experiments, down here in exile, missing the soil of our ancestral lands.

No comments: