• Mathura Hawley

clean


This morning, after Luke and I returned from our daily walk through the woods, I looked around at this neglected little shelter, put my head in my hands for a moment, then asked for the strength to go forward. “It’s time,” I said... "

I grab the heavy electric mixer on the counter and lift. A mouse has passed through so I spray and wipe up the dust with a wadded paper towel. There have not been many mice this season because Luke and I were here so often, our healing place after we were left alone abruptly in January. Since then I have vacuumed the rug, cleaned the counters and changed the bed, but that is all. Going near the cupboards or closets gave me anxiety and when I tried to move a pile of clothes or even find a dish I would be overcome by a paralyzing sadness, as the reality and finality of what had happened would flood over me. So I made my corner for watching movies and to cuddle with Luke and I kept the fridge stocked with food and the dishes clean. This morning, after Luke and I returned from our daily walk through the woods, I looked around at this neglected little shelter, put my head in my hands for a moment, then asked for the strength to go forward. “It’s time,” I said to Luke, who was curled up on the sofa already snoring. I took a deep breath and opened the upstairs closet, sorting and making piles of clothing. I opened each dresser drawer. I went under beds. I walked bowls of dried pine cones back out to the woods and left them by my favorite pine tree. I discarded things that are not mine or no longer have the meaning they once did. I dusted every surface from corner tables to the highest shelves, moved books and put out new candles. My mom’s quilts are now folded gently and safely tucked away in cedar chests. All of the clothes stacked neatly on the closet rack are my size. With an extra pause to hold back my tears, I opened wedding gift boxes and took out the presents for use, forcing myself to read the cards so that I would remember to be grateful for the loving people in my life. It took hours, and sometimes I would stop for a moment to sit with Luke for the reassurance of his connection. The cabin is clean. It is done. It is mine. My heart broke all over again, but I also felt it heal in some way I do not yet understand. And I hope to share it with love when the time is right, when Krishna brings someone to my life that will understand its character, appreciate its comforting warmth, and see it as I do each time I drive up the gravel and notice that its tall, A-frame shape looks like hands in a prayer. Because that is what this cabin is for me, a living prayer, where my hope is renewed, my spirit is healed, and God speaks to me through every ray of sun that shines down through the trees. Hare Krishna.


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