I love manure. To me, manure signifies that all is right with my world. Manure is the cycle of life. When it comes out of the horse I know all is well with the horse. When I spread it in the fields and the grass grows strong, I know my horses are nurtured. The cycle of life continues.
The Gift of Manure
I was horseless, living in a subdivision with my then husband. All I wanted for Christmas was a truck to head my way with a big pile of black garden gold. No diamonds please. No pearls thank you very much. I got my wish. That delicious dark chocolate cake of a pile dumped at the top of the driveway was the greatest, most glorious gift ever!
Several years later it was time to have the cabinets built for my kitchen in my very own fantabulous Butterfly Roof House. I had Greg the Cabinet Maker create a counter-to-kickboard drawer to the left of the sink, underneath where I’d be cutting vegetables. At the bottom, a shelf for stuff, but the top part was the important feature. There, he inserted a piece of wood a few inches below the counter. With a hole cut in it. Ah, the perfect home for my compost bucket! When chopping fruits and veggies, I open the drawer and simply scrape the peelings and seeds and skins right in the bucket. Every few days it’s out to the compost pile bucket in hand, where these nutrient-rich kitchen scraps join the manure and shavings and plant trimmings to become glorious rich brown stuff. Gold strike!
Horses: The Manure Gods
Call me nuts, or perhaps simple, but I absolutely love picking up manure from the arena where the horses hang out when not pastured. And I love cleaning stalls. As I drive the manure wagon out to the pasture or garden or compost pile to spread or dump it, I imagine all those happy earthworms, the soil texture improving, and all that lovely slurp-luscious grass the horses will be enjoying.
I feed the horses, the manure feeds the soil, and the soil feeds the grass, which feeds the horses, which…
Ah, the cycle. All is well.
But There’s More to Manure
Oh yes there’s more. Manure is no one-trick pony. Manure feeds more than the soil; it feeds my soul. A simple replacement of a vowel — I’m positive that’s not accidental – has huge meaning.
Off I zoom to the airport headed to shoot TV, super-charged with so much going on: being on on camera, a tight production schedule to juggle, sponsors’ needs to attend to, and guests to help shine… Quite the hubbub of energy!
Upon my return, the sixty mile drive home from the airport leads me to the quarter-mile paved lane through the woods that is my driveway.
And a healthy dose of humility. All of that soaring and achieving needs balancing — or we can’t get enough soaring and achieving. And inevitably crash. We need grounding. We need time in a place for our roots to worm their way down. To me, I need the soul of manure. As I feed the soil with it, it feeds me. Being a facilitator to that cycle of life grounds me.
So, you see why I say, “Manure puts me in my place.”