The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1


Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground...Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. Genesis 2: 7,19

Soil and soul

The first man is given the name Adam, meaning man of the earth or ground. At our infancy we are intimately connected with soil, with land. In 'growing up' we have in the main become more removed from it, at least in the West. Woody Allen’s quip 'I am at two with nature' may epitomise this physical and also spiritual separation!

Silent energy

The novelist Sara Maitland in her A book of silence relates her return to the ground in her later years, her unexpected buzz from being in gardens, both wild and cultivated:

Soil, that very topmost skin coating, is called earth and the planet itself is called earth. It is alive – pounding, heaving, thrusting...Gardening puts me in contact with all this silent energy; becoming an active partner in all that silent growth...The earth works its way under my nails and into my fingerprints.

Gardening gave me a way to work with silence; not 'in silence' but with silence. Such firm groundedness. Feet on, and fingers in, God’s own silent and heaving soil.