I realized today that I now have four compost piles on the go. One is a heavy, black plastic earth machine for the food scraps (have to keep the critters out). The others are large, open-sided compost piles for yard clippings and leaves, of various ages and levels of decomposition. This year I took quite a bit of good compost from one (the oldest, going for four years), and I anticipate clearing out nearly two of the others in the spring to deepen the raised beds. I don’t know if having this many compost piles on the go is the right way to go about it, or a dilution of energy, but we have so many leaves in the fall and so much yard clippings, that I hate to see them go to waste. I’m a horder of tools, household gadgets, and computer equipment because those things always seem to come in handy later, and I guess my ever-growing compost piles are just another form of my storing things that I’ll likely use later.

As usual, while I’m puttering in the garden I’m also thinking about the writing project I’m working on. The compost pile and the capacious attic seem like equivalents to the many journals and writing notebooks I’ve kept over the years. I’ve captured things I’ve seen or done, recorded experiences or events, often with no idea why I was writing them down at the time. Some have ended up incorporated into something else I was writing, or continue to come back to me and provide impetus or ideas for something I know I want to write, but just haven’t twigged the right approach for yet. These ideas/observations/memories get stored on paper in journals, stirred up every now and then so that I remember they’re there, and occasionally I am able to dip into the notebooks and enrich something I’m writing with the rich compost of ideas and experiences that’s built up while I wasn’t looking.