Another week has passed, and I’ve been thinking a lot about life and death since I’m faced with it daily with the life cycles of plants. We pulled buttercups out of the beds we intended on planting. I killed a large amount of them, as I’m sure others there did too. We laid them on top of the soil as the soil’s “armor.” Soon, they will become dirt again, completely unrecognizable compared to what it used to be. And that is what will happen to all of us, to every living creature. We all become dirt eventually.
I look around the garden and see plants in various parts of their life cycles, and there is a lot of beauty. Flowers are my favorite part of a plants life cycle. I love to pass by the lilac trees and be overwhelmed with its perfume. There are dandelions everywhere, some with their parachute seeds and others that come out when the sun is out and shine bright and yellow.
Slugs are everywhere. They like to try and eat our lettuces, but we want to eat the lettuces too. We kill them because they will dine like royalty and leave nothing but poop and slime trails. I have yet to find any of these slug carcasses because they too become the soil again.
There is life in decay, as I look in compost and the dirt under my feet. What it used to be is irrelevant. What it is now is soil that is healthy. It will help feed the next generation of plants. There are worms and centipedes every time I turn up the soil. There must be vast colonies of beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi everywhere. The fungus is literally among us.
In the process of decaying and becoming the soil again, we put our carbon back in the ground for it to be used by the next generation. Our carbon is only being borrowed for the short amount of time we have on this small rock we call Earth. It can be refreshing to think of your own mortality, and probably healthy for your mind.
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