Bookstores and Compost

Have you ever had a day where you think, Gosh why can’t I be this person all the time? Today was one of those days for me. I would totally be willing to live today over again a few times without complaint.

I had a lot planned today, then I woke up and realized I wasn’t going to be able to show up for my life that way today. I cancelled my plans and went back to bed where I read my book for an hour next to my husband and pup.

When hubs and I got up we decided to go to a local park/shopping district not far from our home. We had lunch on a restaurant patio and then walked through the park, me stopping at each planter to feel tree trunks and smell flowers.

We sat on a bench for a few minutes and people watched while talking. We were near one of the planters and watched all the bumble bees hover from flower to flower. I was convinced the flowers must smell amazing, I stooped down to smell when we left our bench and was disappointed to smell nothing at all.

From our bench we also watched lizards catching insects for lunch.

The weather began to turn and we knew we did not want to leave without first visiting the little bookstore in the alley so we moved along. We wandered around the bookstore, my husband pointing out titles he knew I would enjoy.

As we walked back to the car the wind picked up and sky grew dark. It was the perfect introvert day out. The sun was concealed behind the clouds which meant reprieve for my pale blue eyes and for once I was able to be outside in daytime without sunglasses. When the storm blew in everyone took cover giving us the park to ourselves as we walked quiet and blissful back to the car.

On the way home we stopped at the grocery where I found the most beautiful mini heirloom tomatoes which inspired our dinner this evening.


We collected the rest of our groceries and headed home where I got to work making soup. I started with the carrots, the celery, and the onions. I rough chopped and put them in the pot with lemon juice and sprigs of left over rosemary and thyme from when I made my summer solstice cookies. I let this steep until the vegetables and lemon juice were infused with the herbs. The steam filled every corner of our home with the inviting smell of herbs and lemon.

While my base steeped I went outside and joined hubs and Lu in the front yard. He was doing yard work and she was laying in the shade of a tree on a blankie in the front yard. I picked up my push broom and started sweeping cut grass and leaves from the driveway (one of my favorite chores).

When I was chopping I was left with nubby ends of celery stalks and carrot tops, I started talking to hubs and asked if I could start a compost pile in the backyard. To my absolute delight he said Yes without hesitation! This led to a conversation about gardening.

I have wanted (and tried) to garden since we moved into our home years ago. I have failed. Every single time I have failed. And with every fail has come emotional fall out. It has been my desire since I was a girl digging up radishes in my parent’s bountiful backyard garden to one day have a vegetable and herb garden of my very own. My life would feel incomplete no different than if I missed out on my dream of becoming a therapist, or being a mother, or traveling to see the great sequoia trees in California. There are somethings in my life that I know I am called to do and be, and a gardener is absolutely one of them.

My husband has been patient while not overly indulgent. He has bought me basil and cilantro, helped with my lavender and marigolds. Yet over and over I experience the same result: sad dead plants. He gave me plenty of room to try and then he set a line. The rule was I had to keep an herb plant alive for at least a month before I could graduate to a vegetable plant and if I was successful with the vegetable plant then we could begin to discuss a garden. My hopes have really been dashed I must say. None of it worked out. And so for now I have been buying my produce from the grocery like everyone else and dreaming of a garden that may never exist.

When I mentioned the idea of a compost pile I did so timidly, sure to be shot down, because after all to agree to a compost pile would possibly mean being open to my one day garden. I did not think he was willing to entertain any of this at this point. My sweet husband proved me wrong and I could not be more grateful.

He was completely behind the compost pile, from a recycling/conservation perspective, and informed me that the city will even provide the composter free of charge – Hooray!! Then he said that we could buy a pack of inexpensive seeds once our soil was ready and try again, from scratch this time so I would not be killing anything but instead growing something.

I think that feels more right to me anyway. Maybe I should have been starting there all along. I am a girl of shadows who has bloomed and grown from dark places, that is my magic, that is my gift. I am sure that I can plant a seed in the dark with love and intention and help it bloom and grow from that dark place. I am sure I can, I am just sure of it.

After some yard work we came back in and I fished the herby sprigs out of the soup base. Then I collected the remnants of soup ingredients and created my very first contribution to our compost pile.


I am starting a pile in the backyard while I wait for our composter to be delivered.

After dinner we rented The Zoo Keeper’s Wife, a movie based on a book that I am sad to say I was unable to finish after 10+ years of ownership and multiple attempts. I just do not like the way it is written. I do, however, like the actual story. I am so glad they made it a movie so I can finally experience this story. I do not know how it ends as I never got that far.

It was a good day. One for the books as far as I am concerned. I am grateful for this day.



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