Thursday, May 16, 2013

SPRING CLEANING - a time for renewal and finding serenity

I have been bit - or should I say stung - by the cleaning bug.  It has taken so long for the snow to melt and the air to warm up here in Northern Michigan, and that is Northern as in "above the Mackinac Bridge" that I feel like a child going out to play!

I don't know how you feel about cleaning or other household tasks, but when I am in the mood to do so, I don't want to let anything else get in my way.  I finally had a week with very few commitments, and since the sun was shining, and it was above 60 degrees (F), I got right to the task at hand.  When I was working, I didn't have the energy (or interest) in cleaning my house, room by room, from top to bottom.  But I'm finding that in the few years that I've been retired, I am really interested - shocked, actually - that I enjoy and take great pride in cleaning my house.  I never would have thought that washing the dishes was therapeutic either, but I have been pleasantly surprised by this too.  It is a time for renewal.

When I am cleaning or doing up a few dishes that don't go in the dishwasher, my mind is always wandering.  I'm thinking about things that matter, and often things that don't.  Perhaps I'm remembering the conversations of the past day, or planning what I'm going to do next. 

When I was spring cleaning my bedroom yesterday, I found some odds and ends that brought back memories, and even took me back to years before I was born.  In a box I found some knitting and crochet patterns of my aunt's - here is my Aunt Gladys -

along with some hairpin lace samples, a few looms for afghan motifs, and even a set of garters.  Since I have an extra bed for my grandchildren to sleep in, I also have dolls, and books.  I found the dress for my childhood doll, though in bad need of repair, and for a second I thought I should throw it away.  But I did not do so, and now it is tucked away with the dolls. This was a time of renewal.

I made countless trips up and down from the second floor to the basement, out to the clothesline, and back up to rehang the curtains I had washed and line dried.  Around mid-afternoon when my energy seemed to be waning, I reminded myself that I should take a break and refresh  myself.  So I had a refreshing glass of water and sat out in the sun to soak up the warmth.  A time for renewal, and my mind starts again: recalling the treasurers I had found, listening to the birds, feeling the warm sun and wind on my skin, and watching the laundry snap in wind on the line.  Thank you Lord, for this special day of renewal, and the serenity.


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