The turning of Earth

 

I made compost with awful shit today.

Manure taken from a feed lot where cattle stand in – we can only presume – despair.

The evil smell of their shit a symbol of rage, fear and hopelessness in a world willing to continually close its knowing eyes.

My cousins, years ago, used to tell me stories of warming their young feet in cow pats on their farm. They wouldn’t do that with this stuff, this weird, heartbroken shit, these clay clumps of our disconnected life.

I mix it with old vegetable leaves, sweet grass, hay and straw.

I pile it high, gasping at the stench.

Soon the worms will come and turn and twist through it all. The creatures of the earth will make their way among the good and bad, binding it all together.

Next year I will plant corn and tomatoes. The capsicums will be crisp and juicy, the eggplants will be rich with depths of flavour.

And I will be moved by the wonder of transformation and the ordinary miracles that come through care, through love, through time and the steady hum of the earth.