Member Monday: Recycling, by Dale Angel

This week’s surprisingly poignant Member Monday contribution is from Dale Angel. Dale remains a crowd favorite at the semi-annual Read Arounds, and has become something of Redding’s Erma Bombeck.

dale-angel

There’s a consistent recycling program going on in my back yard. It runs on its own power. It makes me feel good when I volunteer piles of beautiful dead leaves, weeds that have served us all by holding the earth together, garden debris, useful kitchen peels, coffee grounds, cantaloupe rinds. It doesn’t need my assistance…but I get to help…like a bee that brings a small drop of flower juice to the hive…a gift he shares with us. He’s contributing to something bigger than himself.

My back yard is a small world. I walk on the violets, mint, oregano, and whatever else is hiding among the weeds. I have lots of weeds. The unrestrained strawberries produce delightful little flowers that turn to berries, then returns back to the earth for another recycling season. Undemanding little laborers work quietly under my feet preparing and repairing to make us happy for next year’s surprises.

The pear tree is parading its treasure at this time of year, knowing as soon as it gives birth and yields its beautiful golden fruit, it will drop its leaves that return to nourish the earth that allows it to live here. It pays its rent.

It can be interrupted by adversity. If death interferes with its ability to be productive, a new tenant will move in. A consistent recycling program keeps our earth alive. Most all life are producers in some way. I’m not sure that humanity is all that faithful to build. A closer look in our backyards is a good place to begin practicing appreciation on our part.

When I visit the dark corner of my yard with little sun, there are always white impatients greeting me. This is unearned beauty. They flower, if not for me, then for the angels.

Soon the earth will move a bit and you will find their spent life returning to nourish our place in the Universe. Every time I pile leftovers of plant life from a wild summer, placing the pine needles to keep the white Azaleas happy, I’m paying my rent, because in the spring, my son will visit. Although he’s asleep in the earth, his gift of them to me…as they flower, he revisits.

When we close our eyes to sleep, it’s comforting, quietly moving life is replenishing our home without disturbing a dew drop.



 

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