The Sacrament of Composting


There is a secret joy, a kind of charity to be found in this act, transforming a pile of grass and dirt and old leaves into an offering of humic mystery. On those days I became a priest dispensing the elements to a microbial congregation. Lord, take these humble gifts: grass, leaves, soil. Make them be for us the body and blood of the world, holy vessels of self-emptying glory. All things come of thee, O Lord; and of thine own we have given thee. After several months of heating and cooling and turning, the pile of well-cooked humus would be ready to spread onto the soil.

 . . .

Like a ceaseless cycle of praise, this cycle went on with or without you, winter and summer, rain and drought, seed-time and harvest, a process of creation beyond your control that had been in motion since the foundation of the world. It is a song of life that sings even when things around and within you no longer seem certain.

Fred Bahnson, Soil and Sacrament


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