This means I have time to turn my compost heaps, a gardening ritual I always relish and have blogged at least half a dozen times before, I think. This time I will also be trying to fix them up a bit because they've been on their last legs for ages and a friend gave me some pallets so I'm hoping I can make them fit for purpose again.
The smell and feel of earth is always good medicine for me and fresh compost soil is a real treat, it smells delicious and is gorgeous and damp and crumbly in my hands as I top dress whatever flower bed I have chosen to spread it upon. The clinker I put as mulch on another bed. it's much rougher but holds down water and rots into the ground gradually, it's made up of short sticks and rummage that is too big to fit through the sieve. The longer sticks are a third bounty and get bagged up to be kindling for the next season's fires, indoors and out. So much treasure from what is waste. I guess that's why I love this compost turning ritual so much, it gives me a feeling of great abundance, it makes me feel peaceful and happy. Feeling peaceful and happy is good.
This year is strange because my little cat is not there next to me, she would always hang out close by if I was in the garden whatever I was doing. Easy repeat physical work is quite meditative and soothing so I am using the time to contemplate on life, my life, her life and the time we spent together., and the lives of others too.
I am putting the best compost, the sifted third box mud, where I have buried her. I have transplanted ferns, forget-me-nots, crocosmia, a hardy geranium and primroses around the flowering quince which we put over her precious little body. My little old dog who died many years ago is buried close by under a young oak and so her grave too is getting some tending. She has small spring cyclamen that came from my grandparents garden on her grave. And red campion.
Those we share our lives with, animals included, are so much a part of our being it is hard to let go when they are gone. Oh boy. Love is a strange gift. It is the best, the sweetest joy, but it leads to the sharpest pain too. Would I rather not love ? Surely no.
Back to my compost heap and my garden. Sometimes when I turn my compost heaps I am joined by a friendly robin. But said robin is more friendly in late autumn or early spring when his belly is empty, so he has not come to bug-pick this year. Thats good for the bugs, I always feel a bit bad for them, I'm not one to throw birds worms, I figure my turning the soil is help enough.