Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Sweeping

I was Harriet Housewife all day yesterday, cleaning every area of the house, except the garage. A satisfying day. As I swept and dusted and scrubbed and vacuumed, I thought about the lines in Gunilla Norris's book, Being Home, A Book of Meditations.
              Time to caress my house
              to stroke all its surfaces
              I want to think of it as a kind of lovemaking
              ...the chance to appreciate by touch
             what I live with and cherish.

True, the house needed a thorough cleaning, but my soul did, too. I needed to restore some order in my head, sweep away the cobwebs from neglected corners in my heart, and polish what had become dull. September 1 seemed like the perfect day to renew the space that shelters me and welcomes friends and family.

The summer has been a social one, rather than a solitary one, with few slots on the calendar available for writing or reading or silent journeys inward. Days chugged along with ins and outs through the screen door, ups and downs with baskets of sheets and towels for the always willing, thank God, washer and dryer, and back and forth to our "urban cabin" in downtown St Paul and here and there for event after pleasant event. All good, but so different from last summer when I spent a month in Door County, writing daily, feeling both productive and luxurious in the easy time. This has been a peopled time--new friends, dear family, history friends--and I regret not one shared minute.

As I turn the page of the calendar into a new season, however, I feel familiar tugs toward my writing. Ideas have not stopped flowing--only the fingers. Little pieces of paper with notes to my writing self stuff folders on my desk. A desk, I might add, once again orderly and ready for my presence. The arrival of September signals a return to, a resumption of what has been set aside during this summer sabbatical. And my house is clean.


  1. Thank you, Nancy. Your post of cleaning reminded me of a piece written in Writing with Light (by Eddy and Eddy) in which one of the authors notes of a time in meditation where she experience Jesus taking up a broom and sweeping her. She asked what he was doing and he said, "Sweeping off all of your NOs and all of your CAN'Ts." She then goes on to say how he pick up a hose and sprays her with "YESs" that cover her and, as she breathes in, dance and bounce around in her lungs. Love that imagery, and pray your new openness remain openings for others.

  2. Thanks, Nancy. It's so nice to know what other women are thinking as this season winds down. Summer does have its own profile and pace. Mine was...unpredictable, spontaneous and sometimes wild. I compare that with fall's more predictable, retractive (is that a word?) schedules. At any rate, I know to expect the falling leaves and am looking forward to seeing them as always.
    I love how you distill things. --Cathy