~ By Ellen Shoenfeld, from ‘The Dark Honey Clover’ Valley Press 2009


My country is this dirt that gathers under my fingernails when I am in the garden.

The quiet bacteria and fungi, all the little insects and bugs are my compatriots.

They are idealistic, always working together for the common good.

American Crow

I kneel on the earth and pledge my allegiance to all the dirt of the world, to all of that soil which grows flowers and food for the just and unjust alike.

The soil does not care what we think about or whom we love.

It knows our true substance, of what we are really made.

I stand my ground on this ground,
this ground which will ultimately recruit us all back to its side.


~ All photos by Shannon @ DirtNKids

13 thoughts on “Patriotism

  1. Shannon, thank you for these inspirational thoughts. Especially in these very trying times. Hope you are all well 😷. I fear the opening up of the country isn’t going to produce the second wave. Have been doing only necessary activities. Miss Kristin and Richie. We are all healthy.
    Take care! Love to Scott and the kids! ❀️


    1. Aw, Olga, I’m late coming to reply. It has been very busy here and the blog is getting about the same attention as the rabbits and bird do (which isn’t much). We miss your family very much and glad to know all is well. We should do another phone chat soon and exchanged photos like last time. Love you!!


    1. It is a magnolia green jumping spider (Lyssomanes viridis) on my stubbly leg! Glad you like him. Super tiny, but quite happy to let me shoot him with my camera phone. Be well, Courtney.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I found this poem some time ago, felt its wisdom and sincerity, and wondered how to tie it in on the blog. Spring has given me so many great photos of wildlife that it kind of fell together!

      I hope you’re well, Linda. I think of you as I think of all my friends who live alone, wondering how it is you get through it. Oddly, the SAH order was just what we needed here, to get piled-up stuff done and spend more time together as a family unit. Thank goodness COVID came when the weather was awesome, rather than in the heart of summer. Here’s hoping for ‘opening’ by the end of June.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, my daily routine hasn’t changed all that much, since I’ve been able to keep working. Working on boats = outdoors and isolated, so it’s all good. If I’d been forced inside for all this time, it would have been much, much worse. I hate that I can’t visit my aunt in Kansas City, which I’d planned to do, and can’t visit a dear friend in the Hill Country — but that time will come.

        Liked by 1 person

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