Lessons I’ve Learned From Composting

I considered titling this ‘The Best Part of Breaking Up’, but since I do not want my partner to panic (Sweetie, don’t panic- I love you.) I am going straight to the heart of the matter:


I reinstated composting as a habit at my family’s home when I moved back in around 2009. This began as raking the leaves over to the compost, instead of toward the street for the elephant truck (they remove our leaves using a truck that has a huge hose attached).

This past… fall? late winter? early spring? I brought out the pitchfork to turn over the leaf pile. I began eating fruit and putting my banana peels, apple cores, carrot tops, tea leaves, watermelon rinds, sprouted garlic, rotten tomatoes, and strawberry leaves back in the Earth where they came from originally.

I gained an appreciation for my turning over of wet and moldy leaves, various discarded produce, and occasional compostable cup (made from corn! so cool!!) when I saw these elements succumbing to the powers of destruction. It is a great power to allow or create destruction. It takes acceptance, patience, and restraint to let go of what one can see has found its time to end. A great strength is acquired from seeing that destruction in some forms is acceptable.

With the dawning of consistent warm weather, the end to frost, I have turned over the compost pile with great surprise at the sight of *sprouts*! At first, I assumed these were ‘volunteer’ invasive species such as we’ve found in other portions of the yard. Yet under one pitchfork-full I found what seemed to be a handful of alfalfa sprouts, attached to red paper. A rotten tomato had enough power left in it to give birth. I transplanted them, as well as sprouting garlic, and carrot tops. Today I found what I hope turns out to be a watermelon.

Aguamelon Sproutling

The power to allow to die what is ready to die makes an exchange; that of conception of something new.

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window!” ~ Maria, The Sound of Music

I have never seen a relationship end without learning something valuable and powerful about myself. And each successive closing of a door (or window!) has led me to a more beautiful view, better suited to me. This is not to say that the apple was not healthy, that the strawberries were not delicious, that the tea did not make one warm and happy- only to say that what dies today only dies today, tomorrow something new will live.


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