Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Refuse has use

I have started composting again. Last time I was composting was four years ago. Then I got pregnant with the fifth and the stench of decomposing matter and garbage, in general, did not do well with my nausea. I had to beg boys to take out the bucket of kitchen scraps or face the pile myself. It was easier to give up on composting than to keep it going.

I wanted to do it again for a while, especially since so many raised garden bed sites said how you go to buy soil to fill the beds while simultaneously throwing out the very organic matter that would benefit your garden. I looked into composting containers. I thought about the location of the pile: off the kitchen, next to the garage, but far away from high traffic backyard area and the trampoline. I was thinking about buying chicken wire and making a cylinder like I did at the previous home, or trying again to get three wood pallets and assemble them into a proper enclosure for the pile.

But I just started one day simply piling up the food scraps, the peels, the ends of veggies and the guinea pig straw. There was a small heap on the ground, covered in Sunday coupons, attracting flies. It is not glamorous-looking. Every time I come out and throw a new batch on top, I see how the quarter of the watermelon is changing color, becoming soft and brown, crawling with ants. The process is unappealing, but I get to see the decomposition in real time.

I have always been intrigued by the pasuk from Hallel:
אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים. הָיְתָה לְרֹאשׁ פִּנָּה
The stone that was left by the builders has become the main cornerstone.
Psalms 118:22

Clearly, whatever "the experts" considered to be unworthy of another look became the essence of the foundation. I have seen previously that this refers to David, who was rejected from kingship because he did not look the part.

I wonder, how many of us "do not look the part" either and get rejected by the experts to the garbage heap. It seems that the obvious solution is to try to blend in, look and behave appropriately, fit in because nothing hurts like being sorted out and hurled into refuse. But what if this trip into the nothingness is exactly the necessary part to transform into rich nourishing compost, the sustenance that will feed the rest? What if this is not a rejection, but a separation that results in a new rebirth? It does not look pretty just as decomposing stinks. But it is the only path to come up with something essentially new.

I will keep on gardening. I will keep on composting. And I will keep on thinking about how doing my own thing can give me insights into how to construct my life.

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