Water the Compost
Gday, Steve here. I just wanted to share some musings from the garden and beyond.
This weekend I was digging out my lawn clippings compost bay. Realising the summer lawn season will soon be on us I thought I should have some nice wormy dirt to top up some garden beds, making room for a new season of lawn clippings. But this was not to be. Instead I found only a little bit of wormy dirt and quite a lot of dry grass, musty and discoloured but not decomposed into the lovely rich growing soil I had hoped for. We have had a very dry winter and without the water the compost couldn’t compost.
This rang so true for me about grief both in my own life, and in the lives of others I have walked with. Grief-worthy experiences just go stagnant and stinky if we bury them under layers of life, without taking the time to cry the tears they are due over them, but conversely, there is opportunity to transform them, process them so that they actually become the experiences that bring growth and sustain life.
We live in a world that doesn’t do grief well. Every life has grief-worthy experiences in it regularly, not just big ones we immediately think of, like a death of a loved one, but all shapes and sizes of grief-worthy experiences: Death of a marriage, loss of a job, loss of a hope or dream, breakdown in family relationships, sickness or accident related health issues, loss of innocence etc. Even positive happy things can bring grief-worthy experiences where a promotion at work means moving neighbourhoods and losing connections with people & places, birth of a first child brings a change in a couple’s life that restricts freedom etc. Grief is a part of everyday life for us all, at least it should be; little losses & sadness's. These experiences and the emotions attached to them need to be processed.
We are so quick to tell ourselves and one another to “Get over it”, that we don’t often give ourselves permission to sit with our pain and let it do its work in us, let it turn to soil in our depths.
By tending our hurts, big & small, and watering them with our tears, we create the rich soil of our souls, from which the life we can only imagine living can spring forth from.
Or I guess we could just build another compost bay every so often to keep our ever growing stockpile of unprocessed grief, from constantly “getting over it” and stuffing some more “life” in on top.
Today I put the sprinkler on my compost bin of last year’s lawn clippings. I can see the change already. Old compost seems to respond well to water.
I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise.