A friend sends me an email with the subject line Beauty and a photo showing a pile of rotting tomatoes, watermelon rinds and sweet-corn shuckings. “Except for a June bride, there is nothing more beautiful than an August compost pile,” he writes.
A bunch of other friends in a private listserv are having an intense discussion replete with highly personal confessions. Because I have nothing to confess, I eat half a jar of pickled jalapeño slices, which makes me sweat profusely and blow my nose five times, like summer and winter in the same jar. Afterwards, I feel wonderfully purged.
I pass the compost pile on a moonlit walk — that too-sweet smell of fermentation. A mid-sized animal goes crashing off into the weeds. We are not doing compost right; I know that. But there are just too many rewards for doing it wrong.