Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Good Fall Cleaning

I'm more of a fall cleaner than a spring cleaner.  It seems to me that if we're about to hunker down together in the house for a couple months, we should probably make sure we can be comfortable.  These seasons are just brimming with opportunities for coziness.  But can I really relax into it and seize the cozy while looking at all this mess?  (That's rhetorical.)

Truly, I don't mind cleaning.  I used to actually enjoy it.  I'm neat, I like organizing, I like a challenge, I'm persistent and creative.  I think these are all traits that lend themselves to cleaning!  But I have two little ones now.  I'd rather be doing something with them.  And, let's face it, it's somewhat less satisfying to clean a room, move on, and have it look like a tornado hit by the time you come back in.

But -- it needed to be done.

Some unexpected highlights:

finding candlesticks at the back of the freezer that I put there to de-wax so long ago I didn't remember -- beautiful (expensive) wedding gifts and other sweet votives perfect for this time of year;

finally getting motivated to frame and hang the cross-stitch I made for Linus (which I actually started in college and then found while I was pregnant -- how's that for fate?);

hearing the games Sela & Linus came up with on their own and listening to how they played out;

cleaning the pantry and dumping dated spices and molasses and enjoying the surprise of the scents -- a happy preview of fall & winter baking;

being occassionally moved to tears as I cleaned to music (who would've guessed I'm a cry-er, huh?);

coming to terms with the (now) glaring fact that although Linus is 2 years old, there are no pictures of him up yet (next order of business for sure!!);

finding sweet handprints we made together at the Clayground & hanging them on the wall where we can enjoy them every day (instead of the back of the closet where I found them forgotten);

really getting to see and appreciate the richness of our lives in all the little details, like in the pillows Sela made in Art Scouts the last two summers -- by clearing away the clutter I can really see "her" in her colors and designs;

remembering the meditative experience of thoughtfully caring for our home, as an extension of the loved ones who live in it; 

slowing down and being present in each task -- wiping dust away from lamps given to me by a dear friend when she moved (far) away, and from picture frames bought on a business trip at a job that was a leap of faith (the job didn't work out, but the friends I made there I'll keep for a lifetime);

noticing the faces in our framed photos -- like the expression on Sela's face at a Capay Valley farm on the Annual Mother's Day Garden Tour, where she and J would prepare beautiful lunches with all my favorites;

and remembering how the small act of having fresh flowers in the house is so good for the soul.

Also: discovering I have a "mending pile" on my sewing table -- who knew?!

People say, "They're just things." And therefore, they can't be important.  They're right, they are just things and not people.  But all these "things" are lovely reminders of important people and times in my life.  I don't mind having to clean them all up from time to time, if it means I can savor those moments as I go along.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that inspiration! I'm slowly getting there. :)


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