Decomposition and the Spring of Youth

Death is a part of life, even in the Spring. There is new, budding growth on trees awakening from Winter's grasp. There are young lambs born and frolicking in the meadows. There is visible potential at nearly every turn. This is the same for death and decay.

In winter I plot and plan. In spring, I move.
— Henry Rollins

Within the compost heap, the detritus covering the forest floor, or the remains of winter vegetables, there is potential. There is potential because it is from these unneeded, often unwanted remains that strong shoots spring. It is this decomposition that provides shelter, warmth, and nutrients for newly-germinating seeds.  It is this fertile soil that allows for the lives of countless species to flourish. 

The soil-dwellers break down organic matter to better sustain the planet's next generation, next germination. It's what they do. That's their purpose.  The fungi, the worms, and the beetle larvae work together breaking down the tree that fell in the dead of winter or the animals that didn't make it through.

The dead of one generation are the literal foundation of the next, in many respects. Sometimes it's one or more generations farther removed, but the idea is the same: new life and potential follows ancestral lines. Ancestors, ancient ones, be they animal, vegetable, or something else all together have created our environmental reality. Let me be clear, environmental and psychological realities are not always the same thing.  Often they differ in at least some respects, though that is not to say psychology isn't shaped by ancestral memory, because it is, to a degree.  There have been studies indicating that aversions or affinities for certain smells, tastes, etc. can be passed down in genetics.

Monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus ), 2018

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), 2018

The experiences of the past, the lives of the past, the ancestors, however you want to refer to them, in whatever form they take, are our foundation. The bones of the earth are are the base skeleton we build on. It is our job to make the most of that and build a strong structure on those foundations. No, person in the back, that does not mean everyone should go out and build a mansion. What I mean is that whatever you build needs a sound footing or it will fall.  Sometimes, that means clearing a space. Sometimes it means using the foundation of an ancient ruined city. Sometimes, it's just in your mind. 

This is the time of growth and development. Mercury just came out of retrograde yesterday (2).  In the coming weeks, while things begin to once again move forward, it is important to remember that while we each have responsibilities: jobs, family, feeding your respective critters, watering the plants--whatever it is, we all have them.  We also have responsibilities to ourselves.  With each new turn of the Earth, we have new challenges and thus new opportunities.  Identify the ones you're going to tackle and go after them.  It's time to stop focusing your energy on things that don't work for you, that haven't been working for you.  I'm not immune to this either, so you know.  I'm fully including myself in that ubiquitous "you."  As Mercury retrograde was a time to let things that no longer work with you to fall away, post-retrograde is a time to re-calibrate and re-organize what is left, perhaps integrating new aspects into the mix to better the whole.

Till next time,

Katheryn


Sources:

1. Gallagher, James (2013), "'Memories' Pass Between Generations," http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25156510, accessed 4/16/2018.

2. Koisk, Alli Hoff (2018), "April 2018's Mercury Retrograde Post-Shadow Period Is Going To Cause Some Major Communication Issues, "https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bustle.com/p/april-2018s-mercury-retrograde-post-shadow-period-is-going-to-cause-some-major-communication-issues-7665832/amp, accessed 4/16/2018.