Saturday, September 29, 2012

Composted Souls

I need to empty the kitchen composter, but it's on my mind to get the second post up on the subject of the natural man.

Composting is a process for getting carbon-based stuff of all kinds to rapidly break down into a substance that can be easily worked into soil. The process invites a literal hot-bed of micro-organisms into the compost bin and thence into the soil once applied. As a result, the rich nutrition which is inherent in the carbon-based stuff is made available in the composted product and is used to boost soil for better plant growth. Plant growth from compost supported soil is vigorous and more fruitful than it might have been.

Back in the late 80s and into the 90s, I remember books and sermons and seminars about being "healed" emotionally. The line of thinking was that trauma in youth or some other point in life damaged the emotions and created an obstacle for folks in over-coming sin. The "spirit" walk that produced the fruit of righteousness was in want of an emotional state that supported it, thus gaining a "healed" state was part of the path into God. God, of course, brought the healing, yet such healing was a prerequisite to successful spirit life. Perhaps...I am not discounting the idea. I was certainly one who thought I needed healing of this kind.

I am thinking though, that the semantics of such logic sets up its own obstacles. The believer so instructed has a ready explanation and often justification for selfish behavior.  "Man, I've done it again. When will I get over the root of this problem? When will I be able to truly serve God? Better see my pastor--spiritual mentor--Christian therapist soon before I fall again."

For most, I think it better to understand what God has clearly established in the Bible is enough. The old man is waste material. It does contain some vitality or dynamism, if you will. However the value of that is simply like the value of the stem of a tomato or a gladiola or ... etc. The stem is needed for a while, but once the intent of the plant is fulfilled--the tomato is in the salad, yes?-- the stem and leaves are in the trash can for the garbage it has become. Or, for the more disciplined individual with a little foresight, that waste material ends in the compost pile.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Garbage, the Natural Man.

In our kitchen underneath the sink and out of view is a ceramic canister about ten inches tall. It is our in-house repository for kitchen waste in the first stage of becoming garden compost. 

The lid of the canister has a unique feature. Multiple small holes of about a quarter-inch each encircle the center knob of the lid. Held in place by a small rim inside the lid is a foam pad. Thus air enters the canister, but odors are not escaping. Lifting the lid might relieve a strong and sometimes offensive odor of rotting vegetable parings and coffee grounds. The odor or lack thereof is the result of the actual mix inside and the length of time it has waited on me to empty it. With the simple lid in place, however, no one need be concerned of foul smells when opening the cabinet door. Odors are kept in the canister.

When the canister is full, I empty it outside into a larger version where yard clippings, this smelling mishmash from the kitchen and piles gathered from horse barns “cook” into a rich addition to the garden soil. The key to getting kitchen waste and other organic leftovers to become a mixture suitable for the soil is aeration. The larger composting cubicle has an open, half-inch wide, grid system running horizontally every five inches up and down all four sides to promote aerobic activity within the bin. It is a similar principle to the lid in the kitchen canister.

Composting is a telling metaphor on how we deal with the natural man. I’ll head down this path next in the Wildwood.