Obstacles

From a plant’s point of view, I have pretty good dirt—neither heavy clay nor dry sand, and welcoming to worms. However, it comes with a lot of rocks. This is not an insurmountable problem for the gardener, but it does add interest—and unpredictability—to the digging of each new hole.

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To get an obstacle out of your way, you have to start by finding its edges. You have to put away the long-handled tools that keep it at arms’ length. You have to stick your fingers in the dirt and start feeling around. The process is intimate and undignified, but it is the only way to accomplish anything.

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In the case of a really big rock, it can take quite a bit of concentration and clumsy effort before it fully reveals its size and shape. However, once you’ve done the hard work of clarifying the borders between stone and soil, the object usually lifts out pretty easily. And here’s the thing: if you’re willing to get down on the ground and grapple with such a significant obstacle, it will reward you by leaving a breathtakingly large space behind.

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