I had myself a pity party the other night. I was an ungrateful whinny little you-know-what. I banged my foot up on the irrigation. I got the nobody-appreciates-me-why-won’t-my-lazy-family-help-more blues.
Life isn’t a bed of roses, and thank god, roses have thorns. But they are beautiful.
Life sometimes serves us a pile of poop. We can wallow in it. We can dish it back and smear it around. We can compost it to make nice fertile soil for growing beautiful flowers and healthy snacks.
It’s easy to wallow in it, to have a pity party. But it can be hard to clean up afterwards.
Slinging and smearing appear to be easy but aren’t so much. It takes a lot of energy to keep throwing. And it makes a real mess. A real stinky mess.
Making compost is a bit of work but comes with a pretty nice pay-off.
I can pretty well tell you how to make compost out of a literal pile of poo. If kept moist but not soggy, warm but not to warm, and turned once in a while it will transform on it’s own with a bit of help from earthworms.
But how to go about transforming that figurative pile?
First we must recognize the pile for what it is. Some poo servers will go to great lengths to pretend they’ve given you fillet mignon. Sometimes we accidentally dip in the wrong bowl and get poo when we wanted beans. Sometimes an anonymous bird flies over and drops it right on us.
To clean up the poo we must stop it at the source, don’t stand there while it keeps coming at you, get out of the way! Or at least get a bucket to catch it in. For dealing with a vindictive ex-husband you may need to order a dump-truck and don a has-mat suit.
So once we’ve established there’s a turd and it needs taking care of we need a shovel. We use that shovel to careful scrape up what we can and put it in the compost pile. Then we will need paper towels to wipe up what the shovel didn’t get. Those can be composted too so just throw them on top.
Now, compost needs oxygen to break down so resist the urge to just bury the whole mess. It’s time for our friends, the earthworms. If you don’t have the right friends on hand, go find some. Avoid friends who are drawn to poop like flies, they’ll just spread the stink and try to lay their eggs on you. Also, avoid friends who are like dogs and might want to role in it and then want their ears scratched. No, you need good hardworking reliable friends, the kind who will help chew off teeny-tiny bites and keep going until the job is done.
The last ingredient here is time. A little pile will break-down pretty fast and provide enough nutrients to grow a little potted plant. A big pile will take longer and stink more but can potentially be a real windfall for a lovely rose garden.
Nothing stinks so bad that we cannot learn from and make use of it.