An independent study of bored humans comparing the beauty of dirt to other elements in nature will result in dirt rating well below things like:  sunsets, waterfalls, snowbanks, mountains, wildflowers, trees.   Dirt gets a bad rap.

Dirt, pretty much, treated like, well, dirt.

It’s ironic.  If I was dirt, I imagine I’d get frustrated.     Without dirt wildflowers and those evergreens where all the snow drapes so beautifully on highly rated, majestic, mountains wouldn’t even exist. Not even a fat, squatty shrub.

Those apples I like – no can do.  No dirt for the apple trees.  Peaches – out of luck.  Tomatoes, corn, french fries – sayonara, potatoes don’t grow in a desert.

It is effortless to overlook the value in dirt.  Far from thinking dirt is beautiful, I actually equate dirt to ugly things.


Even toddlers will recognize dirty is not a nice word.  Something to avoid.  Dirt may be something that gets us into trouble.  Worse yet, getting dirty may result in that dreaded bath.

Here is the problem, I look at dirt at the surface level.

I don’t appreciate dirt’s depth, the nutrients in that dark clump of moist soil that provide the ability for food to grow; plants to thrive; flowers to bloom.

How like humans that is.   First impressions based upon the beauty of a surface.   Girls.  Cars.  Men.  Clothes.  House.  Wealth.

How much I miss when I fail to look deeper.  When I neglect to peer below the surface and recognize the value of riches lying just underneath.  Like dirt, impressions have a tendency to spread.   Influence more than I realize.   I don’t like it, but I may behave differently with someone based upon the outside view.

When is the last time I met a homeless person and invited them to coffee?  Never?

When was the last time I met someone at church, school, a friend’s house party and made plans to see each other again?  Much more frequently than never.

First impressions matter.  How much am I missing in life because I am not taking the time to dig a little deeper.  Know each other better.  Taking the time to invest in someone more.

I think about the many deserts in my life I could convert to fields of wildflowers if I invested a tiny bit more time.  If I looked at a person before glancing away.  Recognized their potential.   The value that person holds; the richness of life just below the surface she shares with the world.

Just maybe when I find myself taking that little bit of extra it takes to really get to know someone I will discover it’s not just them who are blossoming before my eyes, it’s also me discovering how wonderful it feels to grow.