The Scientific Indian

The world beneath our feet

Over the weekend dug and tilled a patch of land in the garden to plant some herbs. It took an hour and the effort was rewarded with a rich harvest of pebbles, worms and roots of various sizes that ran underground like highways carrying nutrients to far away places (one can imagine trees as cities here, the analogy seems to fit quite well). Just beneath one’s feet lurks a world that we are oblivious to most of the time. Sometimes, to feel human, we must plant our feet an inch into the ground and let our head and shoulders soak in the air and sun.

I planted sage, peppermint (top) and basil, thyme (bottom).

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A few earthworms are exposed and wriggle on the solid clumps unable to get back into their dark damp world. I bury them so they can live. Daughter wants to hold an earthworm in hand. I place one on her palm, she admires it and drops it in a hurry when it starts moving. I am reminded of a poem by Seamus Heaney called Digging.