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In the old home we just bought, prior owners poured a concrete pad at the back and added a big room.  They did it well.  But they did not replace the old waste pipe that runs along underneath one edge of the pad.  It is now cracked.

Rather than spend the money to cut up part of the floor and then repour the cement, I am digging a trench along the side of the house.  I hope to then dig under the edge of the house a foot or two and reach the pipe that way.  It is hard work.

My daughter saw me start the trench this weekend and rushed to get another shovel.  She pitched in.

I thought she wanted payment.  We bid out small jobs like that, and sometimes just give cash to willing volunteers.  But that was not her reason.

She grinned as she dug.  “Dad,” she said, “do you remember at our old house when we dug the leaf pit?”  We had bad clay soil there, and one year I got the notion of digging an enormous pit and gradually filling it with leaves for composting.  I reckoned it would hold water nicely and get some air and nutrients to the roots of the cherry tree I planned to plant there.  We went down about 5 feet and dug about 5 feet wide.  “We liked to play in it,” my daughter said, “and sometimes when you dumped leaves in, you’d let us sit in the wheelbarrow and get dumped in too.  Holes are fun.”

I remembered that hole.  It was fun.

When I was a kid, me and my brothers persistently dug a tiger pit in our back yard, through some of the toughest hard pack you can imagine.  We did it for the love of the thing.

Any philosophy that does not make sense of  digging holes is not adequate to human life.

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