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Composting 2020 Into Our Garden of 2021

By Annette Demeny

While walking down to my garden area to dump a bowl of fruit and veggie pulp leftover from my morning juicing, I had a thought cross my mind. What is my intention with these scraps? If you love eating food that is grown from a garden as much as I do, you understand the benefits of composting.

The purpose of composting is to provide nutrient richness and restore vitality to depleted soil through the decomposition of scraps. The process of composting got me thinking…

 

What are we going to compost from 2020 into our garden of 2021?

 

From Covid to a divisive political election, 2020 was a year that we won’t soon forget. A year where we all depleted our soil through anger, violence, masks, uncertainty, fear, social distancing, seclusion, lack of trust, sickness, and overall lack of human connection. Perhaps it’s time for us to throw the scraps of this horrific year into our compost pile and renourish ourselves in 2021.

 

Human connection. Notice that everything that we experienced in 2020 centered around the lack of human connection: stand 6′ apart, wear your masks, don’t shake hands, don’t hug one another, don’t visit your family or friends, cancel holiday gatherings, no school sports, online learning, no in-person graduations.

 

Since Covid arrived, depression and anxiety in America have become rampant. Federal surveys show that 40 percent of Americans are now dealing with at least one mental health or drug-related problem. But young adults have been hit harder than any other age group, with 75 percent struggling. Even more alarming, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently asked young adults if they had thought about killing themselves in the past 30 days, 1 in 4 said they had. It seems to me that the repercussions of the “shut-down” of our country far outweighs the loss due to a virus with a 99% survival rate for ages 69 and younger, 94.6% for older. (CDC Data)

 

Human connection brings value to our lives: relationships give us a sense of belonging in a group, a sense of identity, a support system, and reason not to feel lonely. We learn from others’ experiences and insight, and we learn together by pursuing new experiences alongside those we call friends, family and even teachers. Take a few minutes to listen in to this TED Talk from a teacher who knows the value and importance of human connection and why no significant learning can occur in life without a significant relationship.

 

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein

 

Well before 2020, we disconnected as humans through the use of social media. Contrary to what we tend to believe, social media is not about connecting people in meaningful ways. It’s not valuing us as people, but as data. That’s it. Technology algorithms are learning how to play us. There’s an entire department at Stanford University called Captology, which is the study of how to influence people; how to capture them through technology. And we wonder why so many young people are depressed and confused of who they truly are? It’s time to regain our humanity.

 

So, what are you going to plant in 2021?

 

Through human connection, we can lower anxiety and depression, help regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. Below are a few ideas to help you plant, grow and cultivate your garden in 2021 ~

 

  • Get outside in nature. Spending time in Mother Nature is good for us and has both long and short term mental and physical health benefits.
  • Take a break from the screens. Spend some digital-free time focusing on your relationships and activities you enjoy. This also means television time! Turn off the news and grab a book or listen to a podcast instead.
  • Love your body by eating whole foods, not processed! Fruits and vegetable are packed full of phytonutrients and will build a strong immune system.
  • Be positive and focus on gratitude. Start a gratitude journal and thank God everyday for the smallest of things.
  • Move your body! If it’s just a walk around the block or stretching at home, moving your body will help keep blood flowing to your brain and throughout your extremities.
  • Visit your friends, family and neighbors. As we have learned, social connections are vital to our health. Help someone in need.
  • SMILE and be KIND! I’ve almost forgot what a human face looks like without a mask. Don’t underestimate what a friendly smile could do for someone. Speak kind words. Fear has stopped us from speaking to one another. Make an effort to talk to others. Spread JOY!
  • Grow your relationship with God. If you can find a church that’s meeting in person, GO! Pray! Pray for our country and pray that God heals his people and land. He’s the only one who can! Check out Graves Into Gardens by Elevation Worship!

 

Remember…we harvest what we sow!

 

SFY Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

TED Talk

Graves Into Gardens, Elevation Worship

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

 

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