There’s dirt between her fingers and under her nails, as she takes a bite of the carrot just pulled out of the ground.
“Mommy, can I have another one to eat?”
“Of course you can. Remember, only pick them when the shoulders pop out of the soil.” I say.
She finds another bright green top and inspects it carefully. “Hmmm, I think it’s ready.”
Grabbing the feather-like plume, she tugs. Out pops a carrot. It’s hue the color of the bright orange sun. She flicks the dirt off and wipes the root on her leg. Shrugging her shoulders, she agrees it’s clean enough. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. What’s left of the dirt gathers in the corner of her mouth. I could run inside to grab a towel to wipe it off, but something makes me smile about seeing this little princess get dirty.
She digs her fingers into the soil some more and pulls out a worm. It wriggles and coils trying to get free. “Mommy, what do worms eat? Do they drink water? Why are they so slimy?” Question after question spills out of her mouth as her curiosity peaks. I do my best to answer. She dangles the worm in front of her eyes. Amazed at such a creature.
It’s the middle of summer and it’s hot. We could be at the pool right now. But instead, we’re in the garden weeding, planting, watering, and waiting in anticipation of what will soon be growing.
No shoes, bare hands, feeling the dirt between our fingers; laughing as the chickens’ race in the yard chasing bugs in hopes of a juicy treat. There’s no other place I’d rather be.
Soon the sun will set and a gentle breeze will blow through. At this time, something magical happens. Lights blink and flicker in the dark. Squeals of laughter float through the air as children run to catch as many lightning bugs as they can.
The night is alive with tree crickets chirping, owls hooting, and katydids slowly lulling you to sleep.
This is summer.