I've been absent from my computer recently. It really doesn't have much to do with my relationship with the computer. It has to do with the sudden, intense, deep excavation I have felt the need to perform on my home. I've been contemplating this for a while. I've even talked about my tentative beginnings here in the last months. Last week I finally dove in. Friday afternoon I was able to sit at my dining room table for lunch for the first time in (I'm ashamed to admit this) at least three months. Saturday and Sunday my little family enjoyed our meals at a real table instead of on our laps. This has inspired me enough to tackle part of the living room and kitchen areas today.
Okay, this is my house, but even I am revolted by the state of things that I am discovering. Ick. I hadn't realized just how much of what I can only call guck has been hanging out here in my little cottage for way too long now. It feels great to be cleaning it up and making a true home sanctuary here. I'm even getting excited to rediscover just how revolting the faux tile of my kitchen counters really is. Which I consider a sad statement of the reality of the way my mind has been (non)functioning in the clouds of an unacknowledged and untreated depression for many months.
Summer has always been associated with deep cleaning for me. My mother was a teacher (now retired) and so that was the time when we would wake up, eat breakfast, and start taking down everything on a wall or out of a cupboard, washing it, telling stories about it - where and who it came from, what memories are associated with it - and putting it all away again. Those summer mornings with my mom meant a lot to me, even though at the time I thought it was a drag and would do my best to escape from cleaning detail. Once we finished the assigned cleaning for the day we would go to Sea World, or as I got older, the beach or a local swimming pool for more traditional summer fun. Looking back, I treasure the stories and the way those mornings cleaning helped to form the wonderful bond my mom and I now share even more than the afternoons of fun ever did.
Summer is the time to set up the ability to keep your nest clean for the rest of the year. With my mom's need for a neat, clean, tidy home the deep summer clean was essential. I find that with all of my windows open, music playing loud enough to be heard over the dishwasher, washer and dryer and a soapy sponge in hand my mind is clearing even as my kitchen counters are clearing. Perhaps a little bit of Brother Lawrence in me - he believed that all work was spiritual in nature and is often quoted as saying that he could worship God just as well among the pots and pans as he could in chapel. My mom is just a phone call away for support, and I am praying my way through the clouds of depression in a way that is reminding me of God's everlasting embrace in ways that I never imagined. Healing is here. Home is here. God is here.
I am coming home in more ways than one, and my little cottage is turning into a sweet little nest and sanctuary in a way that it has never been.