We have moved our compost pile every single year. It's my fault. Some of my existential restlessness gets lived out in our composting life. Well, it's partly that and partly trying to figure out how to best use this succinct urban yard. So, every spring...we move it from one side to the next. Or move it from one side of the fence to the other. When we moved from our first house across the alley to our current house--literally across the alley--honest to God we took the compost with us. So, this spring--the compost pile gets moved. Black gold compost is spread around the yard and raised beds. Then, where last year's compost pile had been...I put a pickup load of crushed rock to make a bike-parking place.
This morning, I noticed that along with the usual bounty of weeds growing up through the crushed rock patio--there are a number of volunteer tomato plants. Ferrell seeds from deep within Days of Yore compost. Feisty tomatoes. Seeds which decided that although we had moved on--they had not.
It makes me think of what Mark Yaconelli ( the leader of my clergy retreat at Austin Seminary) said about spiritual wellsprings in our lives. These are times or places or people who spiritually fed us in the past--those memories which continue to feed us when we revisit them in our minds. The ones that continue to bring life when we share them as a story. Maybe it was the summer you were a camp counselor. Or maybe you were a camper. Or maybe it was when you went on a mission trip. Or led a mission trip. Or went on a retreat.
I think for the hundreds of people who packed Shamrock's Pub over this last year, Beer and Hymns is a wellspring. It continues to water us. Even though we are on hiatus, it continues to grow. I get at least one message or email a week with the exciting news that a new Beer and Hymn event is happening. In Afton, MN. In NE Minneapolis. In Madison, WI. In Story City, Iowa. In Hutchison, MN. The list goes on and on and the message is nearly always the same..."After visiting your Beer and Hymns event, we went home and created our own. We hoped for a couple dozen and were overwhelmed with the response and energy around it."
What are the things in your past that continue to feed you? Where might these times of connection lead you in the future?
Perhaps you can't think of any. Don't let this drive you to despair. Think of what an exciting possibility to collect them you have for the coming year.