Sticky Stuff

Garlic. Cooked milk. Two natural items I’ve always thought would make great glue. Now that I’m living much closer to the Earth, I’m discovering more really sticky stuff.

Like duck poop.

Okay, this probably isn’t the most gracious of subjects, but it fascinates me. Earth wastes nothing, so the tail end (so to speak) of food processing is no less important than the gorgeous greens and corn that begin it. Ducks produce high-nitrogen fertilizer, and are quite efficient about making sure it’s applied usefully. For one thing, there is quite a bit of it. For another, it’s applied in liquid form and then solidifies on its own. For a third, it’s sticky as all get-out. This is great for the Earth, assuring abundant and fairly even addition of nitrogen to the soil.

It’s not so great for shoes, though, which is probably why all the duck books suggest changing foot attire when entering the duck pen. Not realizing all the implications of duck doo-doo, I ignored the books and learned about this the hard way. Please take my word for it: getting the soles of your shoes free of this amazingly clingy stuff takes quite awhile. And while you’re doing it, you probably won’t care at all how much the Earth enjoys receiving all this nitrogen-rich help.

But it gave me a lot of time to think about sticky stuff. It seems that “poop” of all kinds attaches itself to us like glue. Wanting to hang on a lot of stuff we don’t need now, and probably never did. Knowing good and well that being angry or judgmental or pouty or a drama queen will get us nowhere fast, but we still do it. Thinking our own ideas and plans should be listened to and followed by everyone else. Always.

This might be what Jesus was talking about when he told the young man he had to let go of everything before he could be really free. Some of our sticky stuff can be quite useful to others, once we get unstuck from it. A lot of it should just be abandoned.

Either way, getting the duck poop of life off your soul can be hard work. It’s really sticky stuff.


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