When Times are Dry

There are times in life that are just dry and crumbly. We feel deeply discouraged and alone. Dried out. Used up. Giving, giving, giving until there is no more left inside, and we feel gone. Sometimes autopilot kicks in. Sometimes we look around wondering if we are the only one who…(fill in your blank), and we try to make it appear that we are not. Play pretend. Up the performance level. Until we can’t anymore.

Dry matter added to a compost pile increases its carbon base. It gives the pile structure, absorbs moisture, and keeps the whole mess porous, allowing air and water to pass through easily and work their wonders.

I think the small animal bedding fits better here than in the kitchen scraps section. So might wood ash, wood shavings, paper egg cartons, and anything else dry and crumbly.

I had my own heap of dry, crumbly ashes 5 years ago.

My Ash Heap

There is is.
It’s messy and chaotic.
It used to look pretty.
Like something special.
Then it burned to the ground.
All that I had worked to build
All that I thought it was…
And I sit in it.
And I hurt from it.
I agonize and grieve over it.
How can this be?
What is the point of everything?
What is it about what was?
When it seemed good?
And I had it all?
Control and approval
Ducks in a row
Everything tidy and together
and neat.
But I was empty
and lonely
and building a facade.
And now it’s gone.
Stripped away.
Burned to the ground.
To a heap
And I no longer care 
to pretend that
I’m something that
I’m not.
And I don’t even care
to sort through it.
It’s piled up into a heap.
Here I sit.

I remember wondering how bad things had to get inside before they could be considered bad enough to need help. If you are asking yourself a similar question, the answer is now might be a good time to consider reaching out for help. It doesn’t have to get really bad before you share the truth of what is in your heart with a trusted friend or call a Stephen Minister or make an appointment with a counselor.

If you are feeling curious about what is going on in your heart, consider journaling about the following:

  • Where are your dry, crumbly places?
  • Have you even considered that they exist?
  • What might they be trying to tell you?
  • What themes do they share?
  • What purpose might they be serving?
  • Does it help to know that dry times serve a purpose in life and that you are not alone? 
  • Who is a part of your safe community and would walk with you into the dry places?
  • What would it look like to reach out to that person and risk?

1 thought on “When Times are Dry

  1. Pingback: “Mommy, You’re tired.” | Composting the Heart

Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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