“ The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground..”

 ~ Rumi

Do you ever think about compost? I know, I know, not the first thing that comes to mind on Independence Day morning. But then again, perhaps it’s a useful analogy.

First there’s a flower, then there is a fruit. Picture it, a peach, radiant in its ripeness. Bursting with flavor, delectable, just asking to be eaten or made into a scrumptious dessert.

Seemingly independent in and of itself, a ripe peach is an apt symbol of perfection. And yet, think of the interdependencies that come to play to create that delectable morsel of fruit.

The sunshine, the water, the care from the farmer, the people who picked it and brought it to market. And somewhere, sometime, way back at the start of the cycle, there was a pit from a previous peach that found fertile soil to sprout in.

Compost, in fact. That frothy mix of micro organisms and muck that was formed when some previous peach-eater tossed their leftovers onto a pile and the cycle began anew.

Pop culture and the mythos of myriad Western movies would have you believe that the greatest humans are independent beings. Solo icons who stand alone performing great feats of derring-do unfettered by messy relationships, and freed from accountability.

But lone wolves are lonely indeed. The idea that one could extricate themselves from the web of life is farcical. We humans thrive in a network of relationships, and our culture is much the same.

History shows that every social movement or long-standing empire is built upon the shoulders of something long decayed. Much like the peach pit in the compost pile, our world ebbs and flows with the cycles of time.

One minute I’m reading the news, and the next I’m washing dishes and dealing with food scraps. On a good day, I’m playing records and dancing a little bit while I’m at it. (Thank you Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong!)

Filtering the events of the day through the lens of the compost heap is strangely reassuring. For the longest time, our kitchen scraps were put in the green bin along with the yard waste and shipped off to our local waste management company to an unknown fate.

Some months ago my illustrious and creative partner noticed a Kickstarter project and was intrigued. Low and behold a device called a Lomi arrived and we brought our compost production in-house on a fast track.

We keep the little fellow in our garage and call him “The Hungry Bear.” Each day he gobbles up a bucket full of citrus peels and vegetable scraps and what not. Like magic, in the span of a single night, he produces a greatly reduced amount of rich, dark, finely-ground compost.

Our house plants are happy, our garden even more so. Unfortunately for our waste management company, all they get now is mango and avocado pits that are too chunky for our Hungry Bear to digest.

Perhaps there is a metaphor in there somewhere that makes sense on this day where we pay tribute to our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

In the meantime, may your connections be strong and your life force be vital!

Have a lovely Independence Day, and I will see you next week!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

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