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It’s That Time of Year Again

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when you are expected to put on overalls, grab your hoe (and I’m not talking about the woman standing on the corner in fishnets, fellas), stick your hands deep in the dirt and plant a tree.

Yes, it is Earth Day! And while I don’t have plans to go plant any trees today (a tree would literally take up my entire backyard), I am going to start my herb and vegetable garden! So far, I have basil, cilantro, and tomatoes. I am also going to plant some lavender because the scent is so intoxicating that the boyfriend! will most likely find me laying beside the lavender plant caressing its leaves gently once it blooms. But that’s besides the point. Any other suggestions on vegetables to plant?

I remember once as a kid asking my mom about the environment. For the sake of tying the story into today’s post, I’ll claim that this occurred on Earth Day, 1988.

Me: Mama…why do they cawl it Mothew Eawth? (That’s “Mother Earth” for those who can’t depict my speech impediment in writing)

Mama: (In the grocery store, examining the label of something) Mm, because the Earth protects and nourishes us just like a mommy does her children.

Me: (Thinks this over for a minute) But doesn’t it huwt her when we walk all over Eawth?

Mama: Mmm. Yes, I suppose so. (not really listening, she tosses a box of saltines into the cart behind where I’m sitting)

Me: (sniff) But, I don’t want to huwt Mothew Eawth. What if I tiptoe awound?

Mama: Uh-huh, honey. That’s a great idea. (She throws some rice cakes on top of the saltines)

Me: Mama…(sniff)I love Eawth!!! I don’t want to huwt her!!!!! (Tears are now streaming down my face)

Mama: (Finally looking up from the grocery list, startled) What? Why are you crying? (She leans over, scooping me into her arms. I sob against her neck, tears staining her silk blouse. She picks me up out of the grocery cart and takes a few steps away)

Me: No!! Tipy-toes! Walk on your tippy-toes!! (I cry harder)

Mama: I didn’t understand your question, tootsie! Walking around actually feels like good to Mother Earth. Like…a…massage.

Me: What’s a muss-ahge?

Mama: I meant…a hug. Walking around feels like a hug to Mother Earth!

Me: Really? (sniff)

Mama: (nods)

Me: Ok!! (I hop down out of my mother’s arms and as she continues her grocery shopping, I stomp around behind her, giving the Earth the biggest hug I can. Later, in line to pay, I stand behind my mom still smashing my feet into the floor as hard as I possibly can.)

Old Cranky Woman: (To my mother) What is she doing?

Me: I’m giving Mothew Eawth the biggest hug I can! (I exclaim proudly, beaming with pride)

Old Cranky Woman: (still looking at my mother) She’s what?

Mama: Just as she said. She’s hugging Mother Earth. (And with that, my mom starts stomping her feet next to me. Cranky Old Woman decides to switch lines.)

For years after this, I always imagined Earth snuggling up against my feet with every step. And on my way to work today, I thought back to that day in the grocery store. Though the New York cement wasn’t nearly as gentle on my feet as running barefoot in the grass, I still walked a little heavier with each step. It had simply been too long since I’d given Mother Earth a good hug–er, I mean, stomp.

One Response to “It’s That Time of Year Again”

  1. Merry Monteleone Says:

    Your mother has way more patience than I do… cute story.

    You’ve been tagged!

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