f Morning Rose Prayer Gardens: Apr 20, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring 2012, Soil

The Scent of Earth

     It was early March and I was driving along a country road with my windows down. It had been a freakishly warm and dry winter, setting record highs throughout most of the Midwest. I live in southern lower Michigan where we’ve experienced January temperatures in the 50’s when they are usually in the upper 20’s. February and March followed suite with a number of days running above average.
Belinda Del Pesco: Freshly Tilled Soil
     Heading home with groceries I decided to take the scenic route instead of the highway. The surrounding area is rural with pockets of dairy farms, and fields of wheat, silage and corn. One of the nice things about rural routes is the ninety degree intersections. No matter how I zigzag across counties I’m confident of finding my way home by heading South and East. 
     Coming around an S-curve on a two lane gravel road I saw a farmer taking advantage of the unseasonably mild weather by chisel plowing his field (sometimes incorrectly called disking). Being from Detroit, I am always impressed by the sheer mass of farm machinery and have had to learn its vocabulary: tractors vs. combines, harvesters or windrowers, and the finer points of Duals. The familiar green and yellow equipment in the bright spring sun stood out sharply against the dark brown fields.
     I could see the farmer in the cab and waved my arm out the window. As we passed each other I was caught by surprise at the enveloping scent of fresh soil. The earth, dark and rich with life, with its damp heady fragrance drawn fully into my lungs, made my senses peak and heart beat faster with a familiar joy.
     The deep smell of earth, like the charged and fragrant air of an approaching thunder storm, these are the Scent of God.