Sunday Morning ~ Clearing Out
Mwezi satungira mkanda. ~ Moonlight is not for putting beads on a string.
September 15, 2019
I’m hosting a dinner for a friend’s daughter and her new husband and am planning the seating. I love the idea of everyone at one table and want to make a big harvest table in the greenhouse. I love the term “harvest table”; it evokes feelings in me of merriment as well as bounty, friendship and camaraderie. I thought of setting up the tent again but that’s risky this late in the season. September can be warm and balmy, which would be fabulous, or cold and windy, which would be hellish, and who needs that anxiety. It’s forcing me do something I’ve been putting off for a mere couple of decades: clean out the greenhouse. Broken pots I thought I’d make something artsy with have been sitting in various vessels tucked away in a space I could ignore. Cheap glass vases, mason jars, hot sauce jars have their own little hideaways, and though occasionally they call to me like a beggar at a stop light, “Hey! Look at me! LOOK at me!” I have managed to avert my eyes and keep going, leaving them to gather more dust and grit and commiserate with each other about their master’s neglect. I thought of writing a children’s book about it once, but that idea has languished in oblivion with the dusty fragments. So, committing to a dinner for twenty-eight has been the motivator and, wow, does it feel (and look) good. Early in my marriage when we moved every two or three years there was a necessary culling. Moving is good that way. Never mind deciding whether something brings you joy, it’s whether you want to pay someone to move it for you. (Is this lamp I’ve always hated really worth it?) But since I’ve stayed put for almost thirty years in a space that has emptied out of humans but not their possessions, the clutter has accumulated. A lot of this is my own fault since I’m always thinking I can refurbish something, but then don’t, and it sits and mocks me. I’ve thought of the times when I was relocating and burdened by having to make decisions about what to keep and what to toss and it all seemed so stressful. I would berate myself for keeping crap I never used or waiting until the last minute to clean things out. We had entire closets full of boxes we never opened, moved from one house to the next that we’d stick in new closets. How stupid is that? But now the exercise seems like a luxury. I’m enjoying it. I’m thinking of ways to use the space more efficiently and adapt it to my lifestyle as I age and spend more time at home. I want to make it inviting and welcoming. I want to stop saying, “Excuse the mess over there.” But I also don’t want it to look too anal. It’s a balance I’m playing with.
All this physical clearing is making way for emotional and mental clearing as well. I feel like I have a blank canvas in front of me and don’t want to clutter it. I want to sort out what I want my future to look like and fantasize about that for awhile. This is another great luxury, I fully admit. I think of making lists. What do I absolutely want and absolutely don’t want? But then that seems like a chore and I’m not ready for that yet. I just want to relish this daylight and the angle of the sun, and how it shines through my sparkly clean greenhouse windows. Every once in awhile I think I should not feel this content. After all, the world is in peril, I worry about my kids, I’ve got a roof that leaks in spots, our government passed bat-shit crazy awhile ago, and winter is coming. But for some reason, I am content. I’m happy. I’m grateful. I won’t question it, but accept the gift with gratitude. In a way, I feel like I’m storing up energy for what is ahead. I know this time won’t last, as good times, as well as bad, never do, but what a waste to not enjoy the feeling while it’s here.
Love to all,