A small child stares out the window watching the rainfall to the ground. She stares in amazement as the water soaks in to the freshly tilled earth, and then slowly begins to pool. The longer she sits the pool grows and grows until a small stream begins to flow across the yard. She closes her eyes and imagines sinking her dainty toes into the warm, soft mud. Sitting next to her is her anxious younger brother who eagerly awaits the stopping of the rainfall, for he knows that when the rain stops the ground comes alive! As we grow older we lose the sense of wonder and amazement that comes with youth. Unfortunately, all to often we also forget that the ground that we stand on truly is “A living soil.” Millions of organisms both seen and unseen pulsate through the soil to create an environment that provides us with food to eat, materials to build our homes with, and soft, shady places to rest our weary souls. For many years an organization has existed that is dedicated to nothing more than protecting our lands. The Soil and Water Conservation Service was created to deal with soil erosion, and water supply problems, and is divided into local districts so that specific concerns can be dealt with. Together with farmers and ranchers as well as urban dwellers the Soil and Water Conservation Districts work endlessly to protect our living soil.
To many, soil is meaningless, it is simply a hard surface upon which we walk. It is to be avoided and is often neglected, never given more thought than a glance at the footprint left behind. Others, however, marvel at the wonder of life teaming just under the surface. What we call “terra firma” or solid ground is actually half open space. It is an ever changing environment in which air and water constantly move, a thriving community where living organisms eat, breathe, live, and die. It supports all life within itself as well as all life above it.
People all over the world define themse...