Sunday, October 22, 2023

Gardening: Confronting Decay and Mortality in My Small Patch of Earth

The five elements come together in a shower of green

I actually had this realization awhile back but only wrote this on this space now. I think one of the reason why people (particularly city people who think themselves sophisticated and as far away from an agricultural existence) can be averse to farming is that soil is a reminder of our mortality.

It came to me as some sort of epiphany while meditating at a nearby park. It was raining so I had to find shelter in one of the park's gazebo. I realized that the tree is a great intermediary between the four elements (five, if we count the invisible spirits flitting around and inhabiting spaces we thought are inanimate and devoid of life), taking in air, exhaling carbon dioxide, getting nutrients from the soil, relishing the rain and whatever water we can also supplement it.

I relish handling the earth with my bare hands

In any case, the soil is often called the somewhat derogatory term 'dirt.' When you call it as such, it seems relegated to the garbage heap, not really good for anything. Maybe, even something suspect, as it may harbor stuff that can cause diseases. Well, it can but it also home to so many life forms. And no, it's not at all lifeless. On the contrary. And please don't frown down on soil because we share the characteristic of host of bacteria with it. The human body is dominated by bacteria, much like the soil. Not surprising that when the spirit body decides to leave the mortal body, the decomposition is swift. I've seen some of the fosters I had buried decompose as fast as a week. It's traumatizing, I admit, but it taught me lessons. I'm a steward of these fosters and the plants that benefit from their mortal bodies. One day, I will be the same. But for the time being, I intend to play the part of a good steward.

I've only recently started my own compost bin right there on the balcony, 30 stories up. Nothing complicated, just trying to reduce my trash by recycling fallen leaves, banana peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds from my daily French press coffee breaks. I actually miss feeding the sparrows from my old abode's window sill (I fed the birds daily for two decades) as they help compile seed coats that form a rich heap that earthworms love. Oh, I miss the earthworms. I had so many wrigglers before. I can only surmise how rich that composted seed coats and soil mix could be.

Sorry to digress so much, but my point is that there's a loop of life ongoing under our nose. When I pass on, my mortal body will feed the fungi, the worms, the bacteria, the same way. Well, everybody will end up in the same earth pile, regardless of social status, and it's not scary. My theory is that there's this aversion to agriculture, to going back to the soil, to growing our own food because the soil is a reminder of our own mortality. It is a reminder that everything dies and like energy, is not wasted but feeds the next generation of life forms. For some people, that's an uncomfortable thought. It used to be mine until I realize, it's not the end anyway. Having come so close to dying last year without a lot of people knowing, I know it's really just a transition. And being recycled to feed other life forms is an honor, if you think deeply about it.

Maybe, the reason why plants in particular, respond to our care is that we are closely linked to them on the energetic and cellular level. If you want to read the science, please do so and read the Backster effect. When I came across it in Lynne McTaggart's book, 'The Field,' it just corroborated what I and others knew all along.  Plants are not second-class creatures. They can communicate. They can react. They know the humans who care for them. Our language is just one of millions that are used by life forms so different and yet also so similar to ours. It's hubris to say we humans, are the top of the heap, the king of the jungle. It's one thing that I rejected early on in practicing Christianity. 

My 2nd batch of Basil is thriving

When it came to the topic of Manifest Destiny topic where Man (the Western one, in particular) used Genesis verses to justify subjugation of indigenous people as well as indigenous flora and fauna, I think I've practically lost all faith. I just thought all those who promulgated that paganism is evil have an agenda that's not necessarily good for the planet but good for the ruling class. This, coming from someone who read the entire KJV Bible about five times.

For people who still believe in a Deity that promotes genocide of some races in favor of another (and puts Man as lord of all he surveys even to the point of extinction), well, you're entitled to live blindly as much as I am entitled to my own epiphanies. It took me a lifetime to come to terms with it and I'm not about to change my mind now that I realized the folly that it is. And if people think I'm crazy or woo-woo, that's okay. I talk to entities only I can see anyway so it's between me and them.

In any case, we may be on a path to transformation (maybe, also extinction, or both). I think a lot of us can feel it coming. We don't know what it is exactly but we know something's afoot. Until then, I'm gardening and talking to the soil, the plants, the spirits who inhabit my garden and guards my house. 


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