One good thing brought to us by the cursed coronavirus is that people who have been forced to stay at home are working in their gardens more. I believe only good can come of this.

Because it seems that something soft and gentle deep inside of us dies when we remove ourselves from Mother Earth; when we no longer dig our hands into the dirt and wait on the sun and rain to help us bring forth sustenance from the soil. For most of the history of humanity, we worked together with the elements to produce what we needed for food and shelter. If the rains did not come, we went hungry. If the sun hid his face, we had a hard season.

Somehow this type of existence seems to have made us better people: kinder to one another, gentler with our children. Maybe this happened because we were more acutely aware of our own weaknesses and vulnerability, our dependence on each other.

At a time when we are willing to pay extra for “organic” vegetables, it seems we feel like something is wrong with the notion that vegetables come wrapped in plastic. That they do not have dirt on them. And we can sense that chemical elements, completely foreign to the plants and animals in that region, have been used to make our food grow quickly and look pretty.

You see, it is my belief that God planned it so that there was balance and semblance. Everything depended on everything else in order to survive. The animals ate the plants and grass, then they pooped fertilizer, and in return, this helped the plants to grow strong and healthy. It went full circle. The pollinators depended on the flowers for their food, and the flowers depended on the pollinators for their reproduction.

The result was nourishing, healthy and delicious. It all made perfect sense and balance.

Humans planted, and the rain and sun helped the plants grow, and the humans ate the plants. Then they tilled the soil and made it rich and planted seeds, and the rain and sun made the seeds grow and it happened all over again — and everything made sense and balance.

Isaac Newton said God created the world according to form and function. He did not add that everything depended on each other; I did that. But it follows, doesn’t it?

To me, this means that the plan from the very beginning was that we all depend on each other and help each other: animals, humans, plants; all together as one gigantic family.

My mama was a farm worker; she often smelled of dirt. Can you think of a better smell for a person? But these days we have removed ourselves from the earth. When we no longer pull onions from the dirt, wash and eat them, but instead depend on someone else to do that for us, it seems that we miss out on the circle of life.

We came from the earth, and to the earth we shall return. But if we remove ourselves from the earth in the years between birth and death, does it seem to you that we have lost something? It does to me.

Maybe this is the reason so many of us love to work in the garden, yeah?

RAMIRO VALDEZ has been a frequent guest columnist in the Denton Record-Chronicle and is a retired area counselor. He welcomes feedback and suggestions via letters to the editor or emailed to

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