I started growing as a career a month ago. I guess some call it farming. Personally, however, I prefer the word “growing.” Growing is something we can all aspire to. The first week I started to grow, my usual daily shower washed the dirt off my hands. You would have thought I still worked in an office. Earth was nowhere to be found on these hands. But by the second week the dirt began to make its way into the crevice between nail and finger. The shower was no competition for such dirt. I tried cleaning out the dirt with a nail file. But it was not long before I discovered the effort was not worth the outcome- especially when the growing made me so tired by each day’s end.
By the third week the dirt had entrenched itself in the cracked crevices of my fingers. I had never seen these crevices before, I thought. It was as if I was learning about myself all over again. Seeing a part of myself I never knew existed. The beauty of those intricate details that make up the human hand. The beauty of the body. It was as if the dirt was slowly making its way through my skin, into my soul. The dirt wanted to be a part of me – and it seemed to do so- so gracefully. Were we once closer friends, I thought? The dirt seemed to know me so well.
By the fourth week I gave up trying to scrub my hands clean. This was me, I thought, earth’s tattoos on my body. The earth had officially entered my bloodstream, was a part of me. By the last week I embraced these dirty hands as my own. I am proud of these hands. These hands grow food, they feel the earth, they grow with the earth, they bleed with the earth. These my friends… These are grower’s hands.