Friday, June 10, 2011

Stinky Compost

When i talk about my book, at a book signing, for instance, the conversation often veers off into compost. What's the best method? "It depends" is my answer.

If you're a city/town dweller, then you probably want one of those black plastic units. Our landfill sells them for a cheaper price than you can buy them in the catalog.

If you live in bear country (and there are more and more reports of bears nearby), then you want a really big, heavy, black plastic unit that the lid screws on to. The bears may roll it away, but they (hopefully) won't be able to get into it.

I live in the country, so i have 3 open bins--each made of 4 pallets that are simply tied together in a square with clothesline. E-Z. Yes, critters come to the pile. I see chipmunks and bluejays picking their way through it in the morning, and i'm sure raccoons come at night. Last evening, i made my final run to the compost pile at 9 p.m. and beaned a skunk on the nose with a watermelon rind. I didn't stick around for a closer sighting, once i saw that furry white tail start to twitch. When my sweetie came home 15 minutes later, he said he smelled skunk.

Our thoughts and actions go into a "compost pile" from moment to moment. A thought arises, then it passes. A deed happens, then it's over. Even though it's gone, gone, really gone, it leaves the track of its valence. A wholesome thought or deed--of kindness or generosity--lays the path for more wholesome thoughts and deeds. An unwholesome thought or deed lays the pathway for more of the same. In the language of neuroscience, "Neurons that fire together, wire together." In the language of gardeners, "You reap what you sow."

So be careful what you compost. Those stinky thoughts may come back to haunt you.

1 comment:

  1. And when you go rooting in the compost, thinking you can use it to fertilize something, it will often give you back what you put in a long time ago. Like the prolific crops of canteloupe (we hope) what took root all around our tomatoes after I spread the compost.