i love my hands when i get out of work. i love the dirt under my nails, embedded in the cracks in my fingers, how it takes a good fifteen minutes of scrubbing to look presentable enough to go to class. i love the smell of good soil. i love the smell of each plant when you break it’s skin. i love watching the compost steam when you turn it over on a cold morning. i love the worms squirming in the light. i love losing myself in my work and then i look up and my barrel is full and the ground is clear and brown and ready for planting. i love returning after a week, and everything is ready to be done all over again. gardens need constant attention. they need you, and a well loved garden can be one of the most beautiful things in the world. when i say well loved, i do not mean well tended. rigid lines and sharp corners are not what plants were made to do. they were made to fold and blend into each other, to mingle and fight and strangle each other out. i wish people were more like plants. maybe then i would like them better.