COMMENTARY

The Dirt on an Abundant Life

Enjoy the wine and don’t mind the mess

By Hilary Berg

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I am a fairly clean person. I take showers six days a week and clean house regularly. Although, occasionally, I fall behind on chores when more important matters demand my attention: family, work, play.

Our homes are our sanctuaries, but they are also where life happens. And life is messy. But, trust me, you wouldn’t want it any other way.  

Would you trade the pet hair in your home for a house with no furry companion? The mud in your entryway for no adventures exploring outside? Swap the flour dusted on the floor for never witnessing a child excitedly watching cookies rise in the oven? Or crumbs on the couch for the sheer delight of that first warm bite?

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.

No, of course not. If it means making a memory, make a mess. You can always clean it up afterward.

The dirt outside your home also resulted from “life happening,” but over many millennia. If the ground could speak, it would tell stories of volcanoes, floods, disasters, droughts and more, with humans, animals, plants and insects contributing to the substance we call soil.

In fact, soil is life. It’s home to billions of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. Scientists contend more life exists in one teaspoon of healthy soil than there are humans on Earth.

For those afraid of a little dirt — who quarantine a just-vacuumed room to preserve the carpet marks — remember, soil is essential in growing the fruit that produced the wine you just enjoyed — and were very careful not to spill. It also directly and indisputably affects a wine’s taste.

Without you knowing it, dirt has sneaked its way into your sparkling dining room, into your crystal-clear glass, right under your nose.

It smells delicious.

Take a sip. Savor the soil. And let’s toast to this messy thing called life. 

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