i can just imagine what my sweet mama would say if i ever sent her to this website.
“audra lynn. what is that supposed to mean? what are you posting on this blog? what are you taking pictures of? why do you need to say dirty?”
life, mama. life.
i grew up on a farm and, for the twenty years i lived on it, my daddy planted a garden every summer. still does. it’s his favorite thing to do. we always joked that when he finally got to retire, he’d end up working himself to death. i remember spring and summer days when he would come in out of that garden after hours of work, dripping in sweat and dirt and all sorts of gloriousness. he’d leave his work boots by the door and trek off to the bathroom to clean up, happy as a clam with his hard day’s work. no hugs or kisses till he got out, he was so dirty.
i think i’ll always remember him that way, even after he’s long gone. the way he was never as happy as he was when he was dirty. i think my daddy knew one of the secrets that it’s taken me two and a half decades to figure out. out of dirt comes life. every summer, those days he spent in the dirt fed us. tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, melon, zucchini, green beans…he found life in those days in the dirt.
about two years ago, i was attending a wonderful, wonderful church in kansas city, missouri, with my husband joshua. that church, to this day, is our family. it’s where we started to find our own kind of life in that dirty soil. the pastor, our dear friend rustin, used a specific phrase when referring to our little church community, one that has resonated with me ever since. he always called Vox Dei Community the “dirty soil of Christ.” maybe because of those memories of my dad, maybe because of my lifelong feeling that i could just never be clean enough for the faith i was raised into…that phrase embedded itself into the dirty soil of my heart and won’t leave.
dirty soil is life. nothing grows outside of soil. i choose to believe that we, ourselves, were created from it by a creative genius. dirty soil was the beginning of all things, the beginning of life.
and so it is for me. life isn’t clean. it isn’t put together in an organized way, it sure isn’t convenient or easy or without its fair share of messes. but the longer i live, the more i realize that the messy parts don’t make life less beautiful. I am learning to find the beauty in the messes, the opportunity for growth in the dirty soil. and i’m learning to create beauty of my own from it. through words and photographs and music and art, my heart is to release beauty from the dirty soil.
life, mama. dirty soil is just life.