Composting: a new way of healing

We’re finally getting back into composting. We’ve had a pile behind the garage since we moved in. For a couple of years I collected vegetable scraps and had them in a chicken-wire bin, but that went by the wayside, too.

We still put leaves and yard trimmings back there, but have otherwise neglected it.

I’d forgotten how much I love the smell of decomposing organic matter. It’s like a forest after the rain.

Sorting through what compost we do have from our pile & screening it through hardware cloth made me happy today. I felt more connected to my vegetable garden than I have in a long time. Something was missing.

The last 2 or 3 years I planted a garden but didn’t really tend to it well. Often I let the harvest go by without reaping much of it. Sure, I’ve had young kids every year since 2005. But I wonder if it’s been more than that.

My first real garden was in North Carolina at my mountain wilderness home. The first year went well – I built lots of beds & planted tons of strawberries and asparagus. Maybe a rhubarb plant, too. Every garden should have one.

Then the next year, right after I got the spring crops in, my husband & I separated. He stayed on the property and I moved out.

I never got to enjoy the harvest from that garden. It’s a sadness I still feel. Perhaps this year I can fill that sense of loss with a deeper connection to a garden I won’t be leaving. Besides, the asparagus are finally coming up this year.