Good Dirt

I do not like NEW places. I don’t mean places I’m unfamiliar with, although that is also a struggle for me sometimes. I mean places that are just actually new.

Now, I have nothing against new houses; I wouldn’t mind having one of those. But I would want it built in an old place. And I like the smell of newly constructed and painted buildings of other sorts. I love the fresh unspoiledness inside those places. It is in the outdoors that I hate newness.

I refer to areas that have been recently scraped raw of all nature, then built upon, then little tiny trees planted in strategic places, and squares of sod laid down to begin to allow nature back in a controlled, pre-planned pattern. Being in a place like that makes me feel on edge. It’s creepy.

Give me a piece of earth with big, old trees who grew there because they decided to, and rich, dark dirt that smells good and will grow anything because of generation after generation of leaves falling and decomposing in countless layers. The deeper I dig the less I see recognizable leaf remains and the more beautiful soil, so deliciously smelly that I feel the urge to rub my face in it and breathe it in. Maybe an old, pretty, antique style fence, grown up with something I need to get out there and trim back before it pulls the fence down. A densely shaded corner where I can plant something that doesn’t need much sun . . . or maybe just hang a swing from the huge tree causing the shade. And some sunny spots where I can plant something colorful that wants to be there.

I want to live again on a place in nature already in motion and undisturbed for long before my entrance into it, a place that has been busy being and growing and becoming what it will, but happy to have me join, gently,  in the process.


About dahnajeen

I'm Donna Jean Hunter. I'm also Donna Cox - former married name and the name I share with my children and with my ex-husband, father of my children, and friend, David Cox. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Patterson told me I was a great writer and would be an author when I grew up. She always had me read my stories to the class, and even took me around to the other classrooms to have me read to them. I'm pretty sure the other kids all hated me that year. I don't care though. I love Mrs. Patterson. Of course she did not know then about the Internet and blogging, how much of what people read would no longer be on paper - and how much of it would be done for free! - when I grew up. I have had 10 or 12 of my pieces published in college literary journals, and for a while during college, I actually received pay for working as a technical writer. Then for a few years I taught writing to teenagers as a high school English teacher. But other than that, I can't say I'm a writer in the sense that it is what I do for a living. But I am a writer. I have been all my life and can’t see myself ever stopping whether anyone reads it or not. I hope someone enjoys some of it.
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