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The Lotus

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

—Rabindranath Tagore

May you bask in the starshine and moonbeam of the eve’s radiance!

Our Lady of Compost

Going to Ground

Bygone morning’s coffee grounds

ground further down,

down

to

ground

by hyper worms, all caffeinated.

Leaves of autumn, brittle, perforated,

are integrated

as eisenia fetida binge and purge,

binge and purge,

and binge and purge,

in their castings new lives emerge

from rotten tomatoes, banana peels, cherry pits,

straw covered in the chickens’ shits,

avocado skins, watermelon rinds

strawberry stems and murky brines.

Other bits thrown in the mix:

pistachio shells and broken sticks,

ash from last winter’s fire,

lint from the laundry’s dryer.

In the midst of this debris,

a rotting jack-o-lantern held an errant seed.

A pumpkin vine sprouts from his wrecked grin

as his ghoulish, rotting face caves in.

When human footsteps fall that way,

sunning lizards go skittering into the fray

to join scutigera coleptrata and armadillidiidae

who work the lower strata in some mysterious way.

Above it all Our Lady of Compost stands poised and posed

overseeing all that is composed and decomposed.

Within her purview is order and disorder and

life and not-life at this strange borderland.

Knowing well her own disintegration will nourish

the next generation to flourish.

~~*~~

 

Today’s musings were inspired by my own heap of compost and also very much by Walt Whitman’s “This Compost”, a meditation on Earth’s resilience and ability to turn the nastiest diseased corruption into an astounding flourish of beauty.

In April, I quit the awesome new job I started at the beginning of the year. I had really wanted the job and I was happy to have it right up until the day I sat down in the office and suddenly everything inside me revolted. In a move that baffled even myself, I resigned on the spot without offering advanced notice. That was weird. But it happened. Then I spent several weeks feeling like Alice, wandering about in the wood, growing my right size again, and finding my way back to the garden.

My own garden is usually started in March, but I was too busy helping other people do their work in March that I neglected doing my own stuff. To make up for lost time, I spent much of May sitting in piles of dirt, alternately feeding and slapping mosquitos, tickling worms, scaring spiders, and wishing the creatures wouldn’t be so easily offended. The best laid plans went completely unmade. Still, I awoke with the birds and followed a Cheshire Cat’s advice; letting my need guide my behavior, I did whatever seemed like the right gardenly thing to do at the time. At the end of each day, I wrote it all down in the month’s goal-tracker.

And the lovely garden unfurls its splendor day by day.

“The first thing I’ve got to do,” said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood “is to grow my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.”

–Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

I woke up in a “six impossible things before breakfast” sort of mood today,

managing her flamingo

so I took myself on a playdate

to the Memphis Botanic Gardens to chase wonder.

oh my ears and whiskers

She wasn’t hard to catch.

I should like to be a queen best

Cephalanthus occidentalis

That little skipper…

When I look in her eyes she goes with me to a blossom world…I’m pickin’ up good vibrations….what elation…what a sensation…”

–Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys

[This post was inspired by Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit who is playing a fun game of “Photo Shorts.” Tag. You’re it!]

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