"Soil isn't sexy." I hear it all the time from my colleagues, even the soil worshippers like myself.
But I don't agree, so I set out to put together some "sexy" soil quotes just for Valentine's Day, from my favorite authors, poets, and agrarian philosophers.
In reviewing them, I realize that soil connects people to the physical world in a very spiritual way. Just as soil science is a discipline of chemistry, physics, and biology, the love of soil is spiritual and physical.
So maybe I'm interpreting the word sexy a little loosely here to also mean life, death, inspiration, and what makes us human. Perhaps you won't want to quote these in your Valentine's Day cards to your sweetie. But think of the role of soil in our life on Earth today; all that is good about our vitality and sensuality has an origin in our soil.
While you consider this, please enjoy this selection of hot soil quotes. They made my heart beat faster.
"Neither humus nor humans are humble at all. We are audacious, like nature herself. We are wet, fecund, protean, dangerous." - William Bryant Logan, from Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of Earth
"All we know of life and death and bold activity are conditioned on the ground..." - Liberty Hyde Bailey
"Soil is a portal to another world." - Fred Bahnson, from Soil and Sacrament
"As long as the Earth can make a spring every year, I can. As long as the Earth can flower and produce nurturing fruit, I can, because I'm the Earth. I won't give up until the Earth gives up. " - Alice Walker
"But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April." - Thomas Wolfe, from You Can't Go Home Again
"Place a pumpkin on your table; run your fingers down its smooth grooves; trace the furrows to the poles; take note of its form; absorb its rich color; get the tang of its fragrance. The roughness and ruggedness of its leaves, the sharp-angled stem strongly set, make a foil that a sculptor cannot improve. Then wonder how this marvelous thing was born out of your garden soil through the medium of one small strand of a succulent stem." - Liberty Hyde Bailey
Did I miss any of your favorites? Sound off in the comments with your own favorite soil quote.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Brocken Inaglory