I grew up as what most would call “blue collar.”
I was raised among the fields of corn, soybeans, and hay.
I had just as many animals as children for friends.
I used the nature surrounding me to calm my racing heart when family was too hard.
I placed my first shovel in the dirt before I was old enough to know that this dirty dirt was the substance of life, the cause of growth, and, oh, so overlooked.
I moved from that blue collar town full of love, the best of people, and the worst.
But I loved that blue collar town for the lessons I learned– truths a growing few ever get a chance to see.
I felt the healing power of nature, the connection to our land, and saw the dependence our society has on that dirt.
We may call this way of life “blue collar” but everything rolling down those assembly lines, all the hustle of the city, and all the energy we each consume comes from the blue collar.
I can’t move back to that hometown; the jobs and opportunities are few, but, oh, so large in need.
Even today, I still hold dearly the hard work, the kinship to nature, and the peace of placing my foot on rural land.
I still stick my shovel into the dirt and sense the pull of life and death which turns with the spin of earth and its seasons.
You may call it “blue collar” and wonder why those folks live there, die there, and choose the life they do.
But blue is the color of the citizens connecting us all back to the depth of our dirt and meaning of our land.
I gathered more hope from those fields, trees, and woods, than I could have ever gathered through a million malls, department stores, or suburbs.
Let us all remember the livelihood– the dependence– we have for the hard working blue collar… and for the dirt.
–Written by Sandy Heights
Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/Skitterphoto-324082/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=535251″>Rudy and Peter Skitterians</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=535251″>Pixabay</a>