When I was young I enjoyed playing in the dirt – making mud pies, digging holes, etc. Now that I am older, I dig holes in the soil. There is a difference between dirt and soil, kind of like the difference between weeds and flowers. One is where you don’t want it and the other is where you want it with a desire to get rid of the one and improve the other. It takes time and effort to improve the soil, but my observation is that it is worth the investment. In fact, it is essential. My front lawn is an example of what happens if there is a problem with the soil. No matter what I do to the grass it struggles. I was told that my property was the neighborhood dumping ground. If that is true, then it would explain why it is so compacted under an inch of soil. Since grass needs at least six inches of soil to be able to grow well, my lawn will never grow well unless I excavate and improve the soil. To improve soils, it is important to determine which soil texture it is: sand, silt, clay or a combination of all three. If you get the soil wet and rub it between your finger and thumb, you can tell if the soil is mostly sandy or has a lot of clay. If it is sandy, it will fall apart. If it has a lot of clay in it, you will be able to create a ribbon that holds together. I have mostly sandy soil. It drains well but all the nutrients leach out. That is why I make compost. By adding organics to my soil, the nutrients have something to attach to and my plants are much happier.
Our life is like a plant and our mind is like the soil. We may be so hard and thick (like clay) that nothing new is able to grow. Or if we are like sand, everything just filters through and nothing sticks. Or, we may have made it into a dumping ground and it takes a major overhaul to make changes. While organic matter is the best way to improve the soil, learning new things and adding rich experiences can dramatically improve our minds. It takes time and work to improve the soil and our minds, but the investment is well worth it.