It is called “Dirt: The Movie”. Yes, the movie and we watched it. Yes, for fun. The movie is an entertaining look at dirt. Dirt is the skin of our planet. Like our own skin it is a living, breathing piece of the planet. Like our own skin it protects. It draws in nourishment from the sun and pollution from the air. Our bodies are made of the same stuff of dirt and star dust.
Why do you suppose the creation story depicts the making of the first human from the dirt of the earth? Adam is NOT a name, like the one we use today. Adam is a Hebrew word that means “earth creature”; basically “formed from the dirt”. And the dirt is in-spirited with the breath of God. From dirt we have been made and to dirt we return.
Dirt is not dead; it is teeming with life. As another Earth Day passes, we should give thanks for dirt because dirt is what makes it possible for us to eat. Without dirt, there would be no fruit and vegetables. Without dirt there would be nothing to feed chickens and cows and pigs. When we don’t take care of the dirt, we are hurting ourselves and all living creatures that God has given to our care.
Yesterday, I was at Rose Hills with a family as they buried in the dirt a loved one. I wandered around the hillside and noticed the names. I counted 5 different nationalities in a 40 foot square space: Chinese, Caucasian, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. It occurred to me that in China, Japan, Mexico and Italy this would be impossible, simply because those parts of the world aren’t nearly as diverse. From dirt we were made and to dirt we return. We are made of dirt and star dust, all of us. That we have in common and the spirit that animates life in us is the thread that weaves us together.