Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Tuesday 9 June

Day 86 and perhaps we are late to the party. The Spring-cleaning party, I mean.

We live in an upside down four-storey house that has a drive and car port, but no garage. There is also no access from the car port - at the top of the house, where the street level entrance is - to the levels below. This means we have to carry through the house everything that needs to be stored, or taken to the backyard and garden.

It's a pain. Just how much of a pain becomes obvious when receiving a delivery of 6 tonnes of gravel that has to get shifted to the very bottom of the terraced garden. Although on that occasion Tim rigged up a pulley system off the side of the driveway, there were still an awful lot of stairs to navigate!

For years, I have dreamed of installing a spiral staircase from the side of the driveway on the upper level - exactly where that pulley rig was - down to the third level where the storage area is. But, well, we don't own the house and the cost of installing such a thing doesn't make sense for us (albeit making a whole lot of sense in terms of a fire exit, but that's another story).

That's all by way of back-story.

[Photo by Alexander Shustov on Unsplash]

Today, Tim decided to empty out the storage area on the third level. Along with camping gear and winter duvets, there was stuff in there that we had unpacked from our container when it arrived from South Africa 7 years ago. And we haven't used since! Honestly, the idea of hauling it all the way through the house - let alone the thought of the chaotic process it would involve - was sufficiently off-putting that we just closed the storage area and ignored what was there.

Today mysteriously presented itself as The Day when a serendipitous intersection of time and energy made the grand clear-out possible.

I won't bore you with the details. Let me just tell you the things I was glad to rediscover:

  • A selection of French literature that I thought I had lost between countries.
  • Two fabulous coffee sacks that I hope to turn into something funky.
  • A Djembe drum, bought by Tim in Madagascar that will be good as new with a fresh skin.
Needless to say, the two pairs of (too small) roller skates, an ancient sleeping bag and a broken violin have all now begun their final journey. And as the accumulated trash has been turfed out, the whole place feels lighter, more orderly. The clutter of the past has made way for life in the present.

[Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash]

These days, it seems like there is a whole bunch of accumulated trash that needs clearing out from among us all. Old ways of thinking and behaving, systems that keep in place stuff that should have been hauled out and destroyed a long time ago. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this season offers to us a serendipitous intersection of longing, and righteous anger, and agreement? Sufficient to the task of emptying everything out, taking a good hard look at what we've been hanging onto, and ridding ourselves of all that no longer serves us.

It's a messy job, one that we have put off for far too long. It will take grit and collaboration to see it through. And I am convinced that, on the other side, we will discover a sort of orderliness that creates space for all of us, no matter our skin colour, and for the good life we all desire.

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