The compost pile

My time in Belgium will be over in less that 24 hours. It has been an amazing experience. From the second I arrived at the train station in Namur, I have been welcomed as a member of the family. I have fed goats and chickens. I helped build a rabbit house. I have shared family meals, attended Badminton practice and orchestra rehearsal. I have shared wine, beer, cheese and chocolate. A piece of me is very sad to be heading out of Belgium tomorrow, though I know the three weeks in India I have ahead of me will be a kind of incredible that I don’t have the words for yet.
As this leg of my journey comes to a close, I find myself reflecting. Reflecting on the places I’ve been, the year that will infamously be remembered, and who I am as a person. I’m wondering why certain people choose to heal their hearts in different ways. For me, the call to travel; to experience something new is the way I’ve always healed. The call of the unknown. The desperate need to be somewhere else. Just the sheer excitement of planning an adventure can lower my stress level immensely and also raise my heart rate from numb and almost no pulse to full on excitement and vibrance in a matter of seconds. So I’m curious as to why everyone doesn’t take to the sea when they are weary?
I also had one more task yesterday that I didn’t mention yet. Yesterday the weather was finally nice enough to go outside and actually get our hands dirty. Daniel, my host, and I went out into the garden and pruned away all of the dead bits of earth. We cut branches, stalks, leaves, and every piece of the garden that would become a hindrance to the growth of the new vegetables. We then took every bit of dead earth and dumped it into the compost pile. The magical thing about compost piles is this: a pile of rotting, decaying, discarded pieces of the earth. Orange peels, coffee grounds, onion peel, leaves, dirt, etc. The things in the compost pile rot for a year and then they get returned to the garden. This pile covers the vegetables and protects them and infused them with the nutrients that have been retained in the process. These nutrients allow the new vegetables to become larger, more delicious, and better all because of things that discarded and deemed unuseful. Perhaps it is a giant stretch of the imagination, but I feel that it is time for me to prune my branches. I need to take all of the things that hold me back and put them away. They need to rest in a small corner of my mind until I can take the lessons learned from them and become a better version of myself; more vibrant, more full of life, more determined to continue seeking happiness.

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The compost pile

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