Hand model: Robin Pace
The times that I have felt my dirtiest are the times I am at my best. When I come home with dirt under my nails, embedded into the cracks of my skin, and clothes so stained no amount of Oxiclean can fight it, I feel fulfilled. Dirt is the physical sign that I have been living into my true self: immersing myself in the natural world and finding my joy in the outdoors. From the pristine sand of the Salmon River to the deep brown humus of old-growth Washington rainforests, the dirt I carry with me tells the story of where I have found my bliss. When I come home covered in dirt, I feel as though I have been baptized by the places I love. I myself have become a part of it, and it a part of me. For what is dirt but the most authentic identity of a place, containing traces of all that was, all that is, and all who have roamed through.
I have a deep belief that dirt holds one of the strongest life forces on earth. By providing essential nutrients, dirt facilitates the beginning of life, and through decomposition, it facilitates the end as well. Thus, dirt holds the power of all creation, including that of the human existence. Dirt and people are made of the same components. Thus, any time we interact with the dirt of the earth, we are connecting to the purest essence of our physical being and creation. This then, is a sacred experience. The dirt we carry with us is sacred dirt.