Nothing is wasted in nature

It’s springtime here in the Pacific Northwest and throughout our Seattle neighborhood, many glorious green things are emerging. In my own tiny front yard, bees circle new blossoms, birds swoop in to snatch nesting material, and a variety of salad greens, radishes, and snow peas stretch toward the fleeting sun.

We’re also halfway through National Poetry Month, which I adore. Aren’t nature and poetry such good companions? Probably because I tend toward verbosity, I appreciate how each artist (earthy or human) invites us into the present moment with a few simple blooms – or words.

Recently, I discovered a new poem. The title alone made me chuckle. Compost Happens, by Laura Grace Weldon, can be found in one of my favorite poetry collections, How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope (2021; edited by James Crews, with a foreword by Ross Gay).

You can find the poem in its entirety here.

Nature teaches nothing is lost.

It’s transmuted.

Spread between rows of beans,

last year’s rusty leaves tamp down weeds.

Coffee grounds and banana peels

foster rose blooms….

Laura Grace Weldon

Elsewhere, I’ve written about my fondness for composting and how it contributes to growth, both within and beyond the garden.

A compost bin on our old farm

Composting requires the collaboration of many macro- and micro-organisms, including worms, slugs, spiders, nematodes, mites, fungi, and bacteria.

In life, I’ve found that the practices of mindful eating, creative writing, botanical art, and therapeutic gardening also work collaboratively to break down painful experiences into something that might nourish our “soil”…and soul.

As Weldon writes: “Surely our shame and sorrow/also return, composted by years/
into something generative as wisdom.”

I created much of The SAVOR Project’s content during the height of the pandemic, when gardening was my lifeline and so many of us found ourselves literally or socially isolated from one another. Forced into challenging situations I’d never anticipated, I’m grateful that I could access nature and utilize various self-care strategies, which supported me during difficult times. I’m hoping that you were able to do the same.

Seasons change. In our gardens, we replace some plants with others. Prune back, dig up, transplant, amend. Relatedly, you’ll notice updates on this website, as well. Some content will disappear and find a new home in classes that I’ll be leading virtually (and eventually, in-person again). Perhaps some of you will join me in these new spaces.

Finally, I’m in the final stages of re-opening an ecotherapy practice specializing in nature-based stress reduction services for women who identify as mothers, caregivers, or helping professionals. Because I’ll be offering these clinical services in my capacity as a licensed psychologist, you can find details for working with me over at A reminder that this website was designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for psychological or medical care if needed.

As the weather warms, here’s wishing that all of you have a chance to dig into some poetry or living soil, enjoy time outside, and savor your (locally and sustainably grown) food.

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