Ode to Compost
Leaf and rind sit silent
atop the pile of waste
lifeless leftovers lingering
piled together in an organic grave
still sits the mound
quietly surveying the hum of activity
planting, watering, tending, milking, feeding, pruning,
harvesting, dancing, laughing, weeping, hoping
productivity surrounds the pile of refuse
restlessness judges the contemplation of the silent observer
yet in the inner life of that monastic pile
deep in the caverns of trash
the wet sponge of death is wrung out
hyssop and sour wine mixed with goat’s milk and honey
beyond knowing and seeing
the pile teems and turns with
societies of decomposition
This civilization of death and decay
There is magic at work in the rotten stench
There is mystery to behold
in the watchman of the farm
The magic of composting has been so up in the field as of late, and during this time of the juxtaposition of stillness and chaos, what a challenge it can be for us to dig down into the soil to find the seeds through the stench.
We are all being called to rigor. How do we build rigor, as we continue to slog through the dead leaves, piles of old dirt clods, and pricks of pain from the thistles of our past? There are days where we just need to settle in with a good book and go within. Yet…one constant thread that can keep us energized, help us to awaken, keep us connected are the Creation Exercises.
Lately, I literally have been falling asleep as I write them, no matter what time of day. I have to reach so deeply down into the pile to complete them that in moments, I have to close my eyes and pause. So…I just nap momentarily in my seat, then open my eyes, and start the next recursion. The thread that keeps me tethered is the rigor I know I am building through this practice.
The beauty of composting through writing the Creation Exercises is digging down to pull up the most nutritious parts of the soil, where it is really steamy. Hidden down there are the gems of what will be seeded. I just know that through the writing of the exercises, I have the key to what is next through both crave and observing. I can see through the muck as I observe, and through the darkness comes the depth of craving what will be. In discovering these treasures I feel such a peaceful calm and happiness, one seed at a time sown.
A couple of weeks ago, I had to dig wayyy down into the soil, and up came some really old ways of being around my youngest daughter that I had no idea were there. The stench hit me in the face, causing me to sit and really think through what was happening. Because I had just written a craving what exercise on behalf of my daughter, this nutritious junk came up and allowed me to really see where I stood where she was concerned. At first I felt like such a heartless parent. That was the old way of being coming up to fertilize. At the end of a two hour period, my whole way of being around a situation with my daughter had turned a corner, and because of the depth of the craving what I had written a few days earlier, I could really mine my consciousness for gems to find what I was REALLY made of. It was such a painful experience, yet really was such a huge gift to me. My whole being had shifted, and I could see my Self, and my old Soul know what I needed to do…or what I would do if the situation presented itself again.
I still keep singing, “Just keep swimming”, except now, I can say, “Just keep digging”; turning over the old soil, mixing it with the new compost, as you build your rigor this month in the writing of the Creation Exercises. Taking time to really be with the soil to turn it into new perspectives has been brilliant, and has brought new life to this field…new matrices primed for some of the most beautiful gardens we have ever seen. Sigh…and in this compost, we continue to steep!