Treasure Hunting in SoCe


            Last week, I had the pleasure of going treasure hunting in SoCe.

            Let me explain.

            Our neighbors are gardening like crazy, and one desired dirt for some raised garden beds she was planning to construct in her backyard. Another one of our neighbors has been able to provide us with dirt in the past, so we called him up and asked if he knew of any that’s available. Sure enough, this neighbor just so happens to be working extensively in his backyard right now, so he has had tons of topsoil he desires to be dug out! So, there I was, our neighbor’s homemade shovel in hand, digging up some good SoCe dirt.

            As I was digging, it dawned on me how perfectly the experience exemplifies what we long to do. One neighbor desired dirt to be delivered. Another neighbor desired dirt to be removed. All it took was two simple conversations, and what easily could have been two separate experiences became one shared experience. Such experiences allow us to help one another and to establish connections with one another.

            Tink! My shovel hits something that isn’t dirt. Little did I know it at the time, but when you start digging in the backyards of SoCe (and any older neighborhood, I suspect), you never know what treasures you will discover! I found everything from nails to glass bottle fragments to pieces of bent metal. I even discovered dragon scales (as pictured above) (this object is eluding all of us; it seems to be a hard, ceramic-like material) (so, obviously, dragon scales)!

            While these objects are indeed treasures, I’ve been pondering something else. I’ve been oblivious to an ever-present treasure…the dirt. This whole time, I’ve been digging, and the treasure has been right there in front of my face! Dirt is a treasure! It’s so easy for me to limit “treasure” to those objects that seem extraordinary at first glance, but I have to look closer. What’s not extraordinary about dirt?! How good and beautiful and necessary it is! How easy it is to forget the treasure of dirt!

            And sometimes I think this happens in many neighborhoods, including SoCe. We miss the dirt while looking for the treasure, not realizing that the dirt was the treasure all along. We are the dirt, and we are beautiful.

            Fellow treasure hunters,

            Keep hunting.