“The cold smell of potato mould, the
squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.” – Seamus Heaney, Digging
Jim Rohn said that we are the average of the five people we associate with the most. I tend to agree with that, not just in people but in authors, media, podcasters… etc. Influencers on our outlook should be scrutinized regularly at minimum, and wholly changed over now and then just to keep your mind sharp. There’s nothing like a different perspective to floss the brain. And lately I’ve been sprinkling in more Seamus Heaney, Mary Oliver and Robert Frost. When life throws political chaos, war and social media trolls at you, turn to the poets to re-set the sail.
The garden is done for the year, other than a few mums and asters and one lone fuchsia blossom that stubbornly holds out hope for company. But harder frosts are coming, and with it the growing season ends. Heaney’s words sprinkle memories of planting in my mind, of burying the bright edge of a spade deep to turn the soil, and I smile at the thought. There’ll be no planting for six months to come. But Seamus points to another digging tool in writing, and that seems a good place to spend my time as well. Pull out the weeds that work to root in your mind, turn over the fertile ground to aerate it, and plant some new ideas to grow and ripen.