In her front yard my grandmother had three clothes lines that stood useless in the winter. But as soon as April hit each line sank under the weight of rugs and blankets. The blankets she washed in the machine and then hung in the sun. The earth underneath each one would darken with seemingly endless drips of water as they dried. The rugs, especially the heavy ones, she would beat out with a broom handle, clouds of dust emerging and dissipating until she deemed the rugs clean enough to wash. With a bucket of water and soap she gently built a lather that eventually enveloped her brown hands in a cloud of soft white.
While all this happened outdoors, inside her clean-it-up energy could be seen and felt everywhere. Drawers emptied on tables, the contents laid out and ordered, the most disheveled pile the one that was clearly ready to be thrown out. Dressers were the same – any grandchild living with her and my grandfather pulling on pants to determine which could survive another season and which were ready for a cousin a few years younger. Mostly the dining room furniture stayed still, but every few years she would be inspired to find more space in the same room by trying the sofa over here or the coffee table over there. She threw every window open, aired out every room, and tasked every grandchild that passed through her house with the type of cleaning that only happens after a long winter.
This month The Lighthouse will feature stories inspired by the concept of spring cleaning – doing the deep cleaning that’s impossible when hunkering down for winter, but that’s necessary before opening our lives to spring and summer’s celebrations. What has collected that you now have time to sort and organize in a way that gives you more space and more light? Anything in your life that needs re-arranging to give it a new energy? What big, heavy items – items you would never consider taking out in winter’s ice – are you ready to move in spring’s thaw? What in your life are you ready to put on the curb or toss in the trash to open yourself up to some new energy?