Warning: composting toilet talk ahead. You've been warned.
I'm feeling more confident in my "spirituality", for lack of a better term, these days than I think I ever have been. I feel okay admitting I don't know all the answers, even though I'm pretty sure of how I should lead my life. As for a God, no doubt, I can see it in the daily miracles of life around me. However, I don't believe this higher power is asking me to read a certain book, follow any particular practice, or identify with any organized religion. It just wants me to realize my abilities and live in harmony with the other species that inhabit this place. To do good things.
I found inspiration this morning in the music that surrounded me: The cacophony of about 5o evening grosbeaks with their shrill chirps filling the crowns of the trees; the welcome honking of Canada geese, back from a long winter journey; the spring songs of chickadees; and what I thought was the warbling song of the first bluebird of spring.
I found inspiration in just doing a job that needed to be done: I cleaned out the composting toilet. Yeah, I know, how does one possibly find inspiration in THAT?
The composting toilet is one of those port-o-johns we bought from a relative in the business when this place was a weekend cabin. This year, instead of adding liquid deodorizing chemicals, which really don't do the job and keep things an anaerobic, gooey mess, we just went with the bucket toilet idea and added wood shavings and sawdust with every deposit. Much more easy on our senses and the groundwater. We built a compost bin, and have been transporting the products there occasionally. Well, today things were starting to "top out", so armed with a spade and a bucket, I set out to make some space. No, it didn't stink; it smelled more like the wood shavings, until I got down towards the bottom where things were saturated and anaerobic. There had been enough warm weather so things weren't all frozen together. I ended up hauling about ten five-gallon buckets to the compost pile, where the stuff will hopefully heat up and break down into rich organic matter. Returned to the earth to build the soil, rather than flushed into the ground or into a wastewater treatment facility, then to a river. Instead of stepping aside of the cycle of life, I am in it up to my elbows, so to speak. And got some great exercise as well.
And how many folks can say they cleaned out the composting toilet, THEN went to church sevices? We hadn't been to church for months, but Starflower wanted to go and I went just to see how everyone is doing there. From my above writing, you may be surprised that I would set foot in a Christian church service at all, but I do care about the people there, who helped us out at a time when we needed it, without passing judgment or requiring anything in terms of a proclamation of faith. There were a lot of people there who were really genuinely happy to see us again, and I could say the same.
The service itself was somewhat lacking; I found myself biting my tongue and restraining myself at the too-right-wing interim pastor's sermon when he talked of how drunks and homosexuals would not get into the Kingdom of God, and how he referred to a tribe of Native Americans as "naked savages". arrrgh. And the second hymn was "Onward Christian Soldiers", probably my least favorite hymn, classified under the heading "Spiritual Warfare" in the hymnal. arrrgh. But I also found that when I am challenged like that, I tend to think about why it is I react the way I do, and the thought process helps me better to define my beliefs. So I get inspired, not in a raise-your-arms uplifting kind of way, but in a roundabout questioning way.
There you have it. I managed to work birds, humanure, and church into one post.