Monday, July 7, 2014

Compostable Mom...

As I wash the dirt from under my fingernails in the kitchen sink, I smile at the first harvest of wild pepperweed I've just harvested.  I think about maybe I can make something for some of the ladies in my breastfeeding support group, Milk Makers Community.  After the dirt is uncaked from under my nails, I sidle over to my keurig and replace this mornings' coffee pod with a new one, tossing the old one in a re-purposed lunch meat bin to be dumped in the compost crock later.  I like this brand, New England, because there's very little plastic and it's easy to open and dump.  Compost likes coffee. I have a lot in

common with compost it seems.

I realize, sitting here amidst my coupons, my height measuring wall-art for the baby's room, my coffee, and my bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn, waiting for my cloth diapers to dry - I've somehow overnight become this hippie version of myself. Why buy it if you can make it? Why make it if you don't need it? Why throw away something that can be repurposed or recycled? Am I recycled?  What happened to that person that once said, shamefully, "...recycling is a pain in the ass. I won't be here when it matters and neither probably will my children.  Tree huggers need to get over themselves."

Sigh. I shake my head at that person who put more value on waist size and shoe brands.  Who was I back then? There really hasn't been any major thing that happened that made me make such a radical shift in thinking. It's been gradual.  Seeing how much garbage a family of 5 can produce, seeing how little our children understand about the food they eat, the world they live in, and the cost of blindly walking through life - I come to the full realization that I have massively changed.

I care about our planet. I care about the small patch of dirt I am living on - this place. I want my grandchildren (if they are in my cards) to know the wonderful smell of healthy dirt. Understand the meaning of "loamy soil". Giggle at the feeling of an earthworm desperately trying to mimic a coiling snake. And for that matter - giggle at the feeling of a worm snake desperately trying to return to eating earthworms.

I buy items that are less plastic, less wasteful and try to eat healthier.  I try to work out to be healthy, not thin - though that is a nice side effect.  I try to show my kids that being thoughtful is better than being "better than".  I coupon, I stop and say hi.  I help others when I can.  I try my best to think of why that jerk that just cut me off might be speeding and driving erratically - is he heading to the hospital? Is a loved one ill?  Is he late to pick up his child?  Did he just get fired?  Or is he trying to get home to that newborn?  Maybe he IS just a jerk, but hopefully one day he'll see his actions through others' eyes. Or maybe not - in the end it doesn't really matter.

There is no Gandhi-like saint residing in this tattooed skin. I get angry, I yell at my kids when they do something dumb or thoughtless. I sometimes want to grab Mr. Man and shake him when he complains how hard his day is and how tired he is and is any laundry done and why are we out of creamer...when I've had 4 hours of sleep,  3 bored summertime kids, a yard to mow, dogs to walk, a house to clean, laundry to do and dinner to make.

On those days, I take a deep breath and look around at this chaos, this mess. This out of control life.  Smelly diapers, dirty knees,  grubby fingers and dog slobber.  All of it is a blessing when I stop and think. I have a home to live in. I have good food to eat. I have healthy happy children. I have healthy happy pets.  I have a strong relationship.  I have a skill set my mother gave me to sew, cook, garden and manage a house that I am blessed to have. There are so many without.

As I finish up sweeping the floor and picking out a bread twist tie to toss in the recycle I note that I smell like the earth from weeding and putting compost around the root of our volunteer pumpkin.  I smile and think about how much I've changed over time having a lot of garbage dumped on me and how I feel like I've changed into something healthy, earthy, giving, and full of good stuff.

...And I like coffee.  I really do have a lot in common with compost.

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