Public Domain. Alexander Mass, Photographer

by LJ Frank

A light blanket of wetness hugged the morning. A chill gave way to a warmth. A few drops of water turned to rain.

A light rain. The wetness was enough to feel fertile. Enough to hold an umbrella. Enough to smell. Petrichor, That’s the term used for the smell that fills your nostrils during a rain – the moisture mixes with the soil, plant life and ozone. It’s earthy.

And I like earthy. Wine that’s earthy and layered. Organic herbs, vegetables, and spices. I cherish the earthiness of the sensual kiss for dessert.

And I relish walking barefoot on black dirt and letting the mud squish between my toes or a shoreline of sand. I inhale the fragrance of earth in a forest, woods, and freshly cultivated garden.

I prefer earth when it’s free and not sold in bags, glass jars or permeated with pesticides, and artificial compounds. I’d rather grow a field or yard of sunflowers to work as a supplement to nourish the soil.

I miss the feel of dirt in my younger day hands. Planting and harvesting a few victuals, and flowers for the kitchen table along with a candle.

I like to play with clay, molding the wet clay in my hands in desired shapes like kneading bread dough…both to be heated to whet an appetite.…and both being a sensual art.

As a child I made mud pies and dug holes for whatever, mud crabs aside…. always curious to see what was below and above my feet and no matter how high I jumped I always returned to the earth from which humans began their journey and inevitably return.

The earth is so much part of my life whether flying above it or walking on it or hearing the sound of hoofbeats while riding a horse. Human cells, consciousness, and conscience began in stardust and depend on the earth, the ground, the soil, the dust – all is integral to existence.

Earthy and all the ambiguity, heartache, and elegance associated with it makes for a provocative statement and an interesting life.