I woke up this morning feeling happy. I’m not quite sure why–I had a vague impression that there was a smell in the air that I liked, or a quality of light or something. It had something to do with the garden, which suddenly looked a lot better than it has all winter (and not just because I spent three hours out there yesterday thrashing down dead stems and pulling up pepperweed.)
I went downstairs and there was coffee and even cream, and that was clearly a sign that the universe is good, or at least knows what’s good for it.
It must be said, I’m not always a happy person. I am a cheerful and busy person, and that looks like happiness from a distance. I like my life and my people and I do a thing that I generally enjoy and this all contributes to making life pretty good. But of course I am gnawed by anxiety like anyone else and I have deadlines that loom over me like the wave in that Hokusai painting…and this winter has been LONG.
So I am not entirely sure why I am in such a good mood. The likely cause is hours spent in the sun over the weekend–Tuscon is a blaze of desert sunlight–which undoubtedly kicked my vitamin D level up a notch, and yesterday’s gardening probably also helped in that regard.
Plus I finally started getting my hands back in the dirt, now that things have warmed up. And I could go on about the spiritual benefits and connection to the earth–which I do believe in, though I won’t tax you with it–but the more concrete element is Mycobacterium vaccae, which is a soil bacteria that increases your seratonin levels. It lasts in the system for about three weeks. In a short winter, I’m never not digging for that long, but this one has gone on (and on and on) and I have been busy and I suspect it kept getting punted. (Yes, gardening literally makes you happy, or at least less depressed. Humans and dirt have a long history. Incidentally, it’s apparently related to leprosy!) You can get it from vegetables that haven’t been brutalized, but it’s much easier to just dig around and inhale the stuff.
I was planting peas last week and getting my hands in the damp dirt and poking around. Maybe that’s the reason I’m feeling great today. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.