As far as animals go, we’ve got it pretty good. A nice brain chock full of regions that make us decide to do things like grow gardens, invent shovels, and watch Bill O’Reilly. Handy upright posture so that we can be forced to stoop awkwardly while using the shovels in our gardens. Big grippy hands with thumbs for indicating when we are in favor of something or if we are displeased or if we like Fonzi.
But for me the best reason to have thumbs is that you can use it with your forefinger to make a fake gun in your sweatshirt pocket and threaten others until they do your work for you. It’s really what our DNA wants us to do.
Today I was reminded of the fake gun idea while I was shoveling in the garden. Physics requires that you get some leverage on that shovel and that means bending and pushing and pulling and hitting rocks and using the f word. What’s with being so tall compared to the ground? Sure we can bend on our flexible spines, but our discs don’t like that so much. Nice going evolution.
At first I blamed Darwin, but I realized he didn’t really invent evolution he just put some observations around it. So then I blamed my forefathers. But I realized it wasn’t really their fault either because they were at the mercy of some common ancestor. I kept walking the blame back and decided that one-celled organisms were to blame. But then I got confused because some of my best friends are one-celled organisms. I didn’t mean it compost! You know I love your earthy richness and your microbial cornucopia!
After spending some time simply sobbing to myself at such a weighty conundrum, I just kept digging. The plan (there you go pesky brain, always thinking) is to keep my raised beds raised. In the pathways between my beds I keep everything tamped down with mulch or landscaping fabric. Today I peeled up the fabric (squealed with girlish delight at the worms and black soil) and began trenching. All there is to it is to dig down into the pathways and toss the new soil up on the beds. You get a double whammy of lowering the pathways and raising the beds. The new soil is rich from a year of quiet compaction. This year I’m going to use straw on the pathways. It’s just easier.
I like to keep my beds at least 8 inches off the ground. To see a very cool application of this, check out the shibaguyz. They’re either more highly evolved than I or just stronger. Probably both.