It’s early spring in Ohio at Mezzacello. I must take advantage of the break in the weather to get the potager garden beds ready for this year’s plantings. The seedlings are all in the house in their seed trays sprouting but the garden beds need amending. So I am shredding leaves and spreading manure and adding compost atop the layers. But it takes a lot of energy!

I started thinking about how much time I was trading for energy. How much mental capacity I was trading for energy. How much good will I was trading. How much of my social life I was trading. I am speeding up nature’s timeline by shredding and layering the molecular materials that would otherwise be processed by bacteria, fungi, animals, and of course the sun and rain. Using the electricity to power through what would otherwise take raw nature months of entropy and biology to accomplish.

Then my mind drifted as minds are want to do when they grow weary from labor. I latched upon James Clerk Maxwell, Isaac Newton, James Watt, and Albert Einstein. The formulations of the basis of energy and more importantly the conservation of energy and matter. Then I started thinking the mental energy and the power I get from my friends, neighbors, my husband, and my dad’s, and ShadowboxLive (who I am going to see tonight! Yay! I’m already singing.)

But there are  other forms of energy at play here too. Like the fact that I’m here on a work day laboring in my garden because my boss knows it’s important to me and she gave me the day to do it. That’s amazing that I get to do what I love at home and at work. It’s a form of currency to be seen and understood and given space and trust to be able to do that which you love.  PAST Foundation gets that what I do here directly influences and is influenced by what I do there. I marvel that my personal and professional worlds are so intersectional. I take pride in that and that pride also gives me energy.

I am very lucky. But in the end it all requires energy in all its myriad forms to make it happen. There is no cheating; well except using the electric leaf shredder. I am aware that I am blessed with the luck of living in a time where access to electricity and instant communications makes my life easier. But even then I am thinking of Voltaire and Quoting Candide: “Our labor preserves us from three great evils — weariness, vice, and want.”

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