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Saturday November 18th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      Many years ago, long before the Kitten emerged from under the front seat of a beaten up red pickup truck and long before the Girl Cat arrived in a nicely appointed hand crafted cat carrying basket, there was a big to-do that revolved around Compost Piles. There were seven of them, and it's a well known fact that some gardeners can be very picky about what goes on what pile, and they can go on a bit about the indolence and slothful behavior if other gardeners who do things like put the stalks of Iris blooms on the wrong pile, and they can get close to having a nervous break down if they find something like a bit of nylon string on the end of their compost turning fork. So in a vague attempt to maintain harmony the GICOCP, or Gardener In Charge of Compost Piles, decided to ceremoniously name his seven Compost Piles, and when asked on which pile to put something like a wind damaged Bush Bean he'd be able to sensibly and promptly reply "Ann of Boleyn." A majority might consider this a simple answer to the question of what pile to put what on. But the other thing about all gardeners, and I think it has something to do with the fresh air, as they achieve their less sentient years they struggle with memory. And while the naming of Compost Piles might have seemed like an obvious solution to a simple problem, it quickly fell foul of the GICOCP's inability to remember the names of his Compost Piles. 

 

Past

     I do however remember the name of one of those Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It was called Isis, after the Egyptian Goddess, friend to slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden. Not in the least a mystical child, she was the first daughter of Geb, who was god of the earth and of Nut who was goddess of the Ancient Egyptian sky. And indeed Isis was the go to Compost Pile, not just for those wretched fronds of faux Pampas Grass that linger for month after thatched month, but any and everything from woody tree cuttings to the endless roots of Creeping Grass. And today, many years later, someone, more saint than sinner, out there in the gusty southern drafts with the perfect excuse of rain in the forecast, did for some unaccountable reason chose to find out what lay inside the golden heart of Isis.  She was well covered by dry leaves that had fallen over the more recent contributions to her girth, the trees around her had gown in stature, the roots of Grapevine, Virginia Creeper and poison Ivy reached into her for nourishment. It's Pessoa, the Portuguese Poet, who's happy to remind the ambitious that no matter how hard you try, your descriptions fall flat when placed beside the reality of experience. And what lay inside Isis is right up there with that kind of Joy a Compost Maker might share with himself only once or perhaps twice in a lifetime. I had to close my eyes and remind myself that Isis had married her brother, which returned both of us to a more settled frame in which we might plot the future. Being a mortal, I gave consideration to a statue marking her presence, then thought Potato, maybe Asparagus, possibly Strawberry, giant pots of Tomato and I then fetched the wheel barrow.

 

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