Brown Part 3: Poop happens

This is the third installment of a series on the color brown and seeing things as they really are. Read the other posts.


Not far down my street, I almost stepped in it. Dog poop. Bits and pieces of crumbly goose poop littered another spot on the walk. At one point I noticed some crap, nearly washed down the storm drain. Over in the field, gobs of horse poop mixed in the wet field. Shit’s everywhere, if you start looking.

Metaphorically and literally, we expel and encounter waste. It’s messy, it stinks, and nobody really likes it. I got to thinking, on my stroll through brown, what could possibly be the gift of poop?

Here’s what I thought: if we didn’t poop, we would die, poisoned by our own toxicity. 

We can be grateful that “Everybody Poops.” The toxic waste that has potential to poison us is swept from our system through an ordinary and somewhat miraculous bodily process that happens regularly (when we are healthy).


There is a similar experience that happens to our inner selves: the toxic waste – of anger, bitterness and the like – with the potential to poison us, is swept away with the somewhat miraculous process of forgiveness that also happens regularly (when we are healthy).

Sometimes, however, poop just happens. We encounter someone else’s mess, we step in it…whatever the reason we come face to face with it and it stinks.  I was pondering this when I came across the very wet, muddy field that definitely had horse poop.


It occurred to me, that which is toxic waste inside us, has nutrients for growth, but only in another context. Manure, compost, black gold – all things that gardeners and farmers value because they, in fact, are not wasted. What if we could shift our perception of the poop storms around us, to trust – even if we don’t see it now – that they were part of growing something new?

Perhaps this is the gift of poop.

Or, maybe it’s just as my Uncle Bob used to say: “Shit’s good, if you like it.”

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