Finding the metaphor that fits. I came to compost. My relationship with tending to compost.
These experiments in belonging (eib) are akin to compost.
eib is a call to reclaim m/y/our own sense of belonging.
To get messy and real in co-creating juicy, connective senses of belonging in the midst of the changing landscapes of belonging.
Food waste… onion skins, carrot tops, kale stems… can be thrown in the trash, sent to the dump, left to rot for years alongside much else that’ll live much longer than a human.
The waste can be composted, reclaimed and co-create along with worms, hands, heat, or air into something new that sustains more life, rather than dead space.
A friend’s worm compost bin was ready to harvest and she asked if I’d like to help in sifting the soil and compost juice. In exchange she’d help me make a worm bin, receiving half of the worms from hers. Before moving across the country, I passed this handmade worm bin onto another worm-intrigued friend.
I used the Seattle city composting services wholeheartedly then moved to a new home in which the landlords didn’t want to pay for waste services thus, decided to take our compost to the local co-op grocery, slyly dropping it in their compost bins. I’d bring the food waste home from snack at the nature preschool which I led once I convinced the landlords to say yes to yard waste and recycling services—as long as I set it up and paid for half.
Once I started composting our food waste, I couldn’t go back to throwing a peel in the trash.
Once I arrive at ways that feel sweet, soft, supportive, kinship-centered with others, I can’t go back to less connective, more isolating ways.
I can’t go back to not becoming good friends with a recently widowed neighbor.
I can’t go back to not dancing on the beaches with the waves as my partner.
I can’t go back to not calling in colleagues and strangers to join me in virtual accountability and co-working gathering.
So I gather bits and scraps of social experiences that have lived a full life, reclaiming the lessons learned and tend to them so they can transmute into something completely anew that’ll sustain each of us and our bonds.
Transmuted from the bits and scraps, this soil could be just the nutrients that our collectives, communities, neighborhoods, families, bodies need to grow deeply nourishing senses of belonging.
That’s my messy, slow-to-grow vision (composting isn’t the cleanest or quickest of endeavors). Many of the eib experiments will call for groups of folks to join in on the transmutations.
For today, #003 eib: could you name a small scrap of belonging that’s calling for a transmutation?
The scrap I’m throwing into the compost heap today is that there’s a time limit to re-connecting with an old friend. How can my simultaneous desire and hesitation to re-connect after a long time be transmuted, composted into something new?
As we apprentice ourselves to the way of nature, we begin to understand that all of life is in a continuous cycle of giving and receiving. It is the honouring of this cycle that makes us feel at home in ourselves and in relation to the rest of nature. In order to experience true belonging, we must not only acknowledge the gifts we are receiving, but also give our beauty away, no matter how it may be received by others.
― Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home (thank you Toko-pa Turner, thank you)
I'm tossing in the scrap of self-doubt that insits I'm unlovable unless "x, y, or z"...I'm hopeful that it will be transmuted into receptivity, because the love is already there, waiting to be accepted. ❤