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So many types of dirt - The soil of friendship

Updated on November 22, 2012


There are many adjustments to make when one moves. It takes time to find the best grocery store, hardware store and gas station. It takes time to feel settled in a church, to meet your neighbours and turn the many new acquaintances into some good friends. These are all adjustments I was expecting. What has surprised me is the adjustment to the dirt. I never expected that getting used to the dirt would actually be one of the biggest challenges of moving. However, it does make sense. There are so many types of dirt and they all leave different sorts of reminders of their presence. Every location has a unique make up of soil and it takes a while to learn how to deal with it.

My husband spent the last number of years operating an excavator, building roads in the bush. He found the work interesting because every section of road was different. There were so many kinds of dirt and he had to figure out how to use them to build a good road.

It is true. So many kinds of dirt.

I remember trying to get used to the sand at our last place. On a breezy day our furniture would quickly become covered with a fine mist of grit. The children tracked sand into the house and they had sand in their pockets.

At our new house the soil is more like clay. It doesn't brush off, it leaves marks on your clothes and stains bare feet brown. When I sweep, I get a pile of soil, and when I mop, I get mud on the sponge.

Dealing with the dirt

I have found dirty footprints on our walls where bare foot children have flopped into chairs and propped their dirty feet on the wall.

It is weary work to get used to new dirt. To learn which detergent works best on soil stained clothes. Which types of dirt need soaking and hand scrubbing if there is any hope of removing it from the cloth, and how often DO you need to sweep, vacuum and mop to stay ahead of the dirt? And HOW do you train your children to wash their feet before they enter the house?

Definitely adjustments I did not foresee.

Dirt and Friendship

As I battle this new dirt, mopping the footprints off the floor (and walls) and hand scrub pail fulls of T-shirts and socks, I think about the new acquaintances we have made in this place. My heart trembles a bit when I think of the fact that it takes time and effort to form real friendships and there will be 'dirt' to get used to in this endeavour also.

Not one of us can make the claim that we are perfect. In all our dealings with others we bring our imperfections, our insecurities and our faults as well as our strengths. As we get to know each other we have to get used to the dirt and learn how to deal with it so we can enjoy the good qualities in one another without being stained or put off by the faults we each have.

I remember getting to know one very good friend at our previous home. Such a fiery temperament, such strong opinions, such a loud volume when she was excited about something. At first I felt a little afraid of her, but as I got used to these traits, as I learned to brush things off and dust off any unintended offense I got to know her better and what a wonderful friend she became. So loyal and helpful, so fun to spend time together talking and working and just hanging out. I enjoy our friendship immensely, but we had to get used to each other's faults.

There really are lots of kinds of dirt. This one talks too much, this one doesn't talk enough, this one is extremely opinionated, this one is never serious, this one shares too much personal information too soon, this one never shares anything personal, this one seems too perfect ... the list goes on, but everyone is a potential friend. I just need to learn how to deal with the different types of dirt and build a friendship with the soil at hand.

Daisies grew well in the loose sandy soil at my last home and I've seen daisies growing in the rich, sticky dirt of our new home. I think maybe daisies will grow almost anywhere, just like friendship.


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