This weather is testing my patience, along with a lot of other things in my life. Today it was finally a decent temperature, but in exchange for the warmth, we've had a steady downpour all day. The yard is flooded again, so the sump pump shut itself off again. Not a huge deal for a short period of time, but it means some greater efforts must be made at water conservation. No planting or plowing here in the near future either as we wait for things to stop floating around and dry out. Time, once again, to hurry up and wait. Sometimes little things like this throw a wrench in the best laid plans and foul the moods of people you'd rather see happy. Life is such that it is full of lots of little moments like these, pebbles that trip you up in the road. It feels as if I've been collecting them for the last month or so and, though I feel terrible complaining as I read about Libya and Japan and the immense difficulties faced by people far away, I think I have enough pebbles now to pave a short driveway.
Maybe it'd be better to think of life's frustrations as the sorts of things you'd toss in a compost heap: all the aggravations of the work day and the not-so-fun bits of family life like so many banana peels, eggshells and coffee grounds all together in a big shit-pile, festering and hanging about, not doing much but accumulating and being a bit smelly. Ideally, you keep them around for a few short minutes in the kitchen scrap-sized bin in your head and then get over it and cart them off to a larger pile somewhere else where they are forgotten and rot, turning into fertile soil the way only learning experiences can, with time. But sometimes your smaller bin gets full too fast. Sometimes it feels like people are following you around throwing their own apple cores and scraps in your little bin, cramming it full with their baggage, poor planning and bad attitudes, until the lid won't fit anymore and the sides are starting to bow. Sometimes there is too much too fast and it just won't process, and the whole getting over it step is missed entirely. This is where I find myself this week, and the torrential rains and overcast skies only add to my melancholy.
Maybe I've just forgotten or gotten too busy to empty my little bin into the larger pile, but my head is so full of these leftover bits, this nonsense, that I can't really seem to make room for anything else. I'm suffocating on this multitude of things that should be no big deal individually, but together they make everything a bit unbearable. I can't focus, I struggle to keep trying and care, and I need support, which I suck as asking for to boot. So I find myself ready to scream over things I know are just learning experiences and chances to grow while people in Japan struggle to have their basic needs met. It's shameful to be so selfish and shortsighted, so guilt gets added like a layer of leaves to the pile as the bin in my head begins to overflow.
Elsewhere, deep inside my heart, I know this weather will pass. I know the mud and rain of spring will give way to summer's bounty. I know the seeds of what I love about life, my family, my home, my farm and my writing, will some day be in full bloom. I know eventually these bits of my life that now I'm struggling to plant will be nurtured and fed by the trials I've survived, by the compost that I've built from my experiences. Right now it seems like those seedlings are just buried in shit, but someday they'll push through all of it and toss the rocks aside, emerging stronger than ever before. Someday there will be tall, proud cornstalks in place of weak little weeds.
Compost takes heat from the sun, fresh air and time to become something useful. It's going to take time and patience for me to turn the garbage of today into tomorrow's harvest. Someday the bin in my head will help grow the seeds in my heart, but I need perseverance and sunshine to help me along. Hopefully the better weather's not too far off.