It was an especially messy and hectic autumn, so when a sunny spring morning rolled around it was the perfect time for cleaning up the dried, brittle residue of its remnants. As I swept the garage floor, I found myself pushing the broom into the cobweb-filled corners to pull out the accumulated grime that had settled and was perfectly content to spend an eternity taking up space. The more I pushed and pulled the broom into and out of the corner, the more dust and dirt appeared. I began to wonder how long had this filth been here—6 years, 12 years, 18 years? It seemed to never end. I was struck by not only how much crud was there, but that it had gone unnoticed for so long.
At the same time that my sweeping frenzy was occurring, I had some household goods that were being picked up and given to a new home as I prepared for my own relocation to Florida. I had taken apart a dining room set, a large dog crate and moved several items into the garage for easier pick up. I assisted by holding the door open as they carried out pieces of a sectional that was in the basement of my condo and I helped one guy lift the table top into the bed of his truck. As the two men were loading the dining room legs onto the truck, I heard one make a remark about the dust on the table. I felt the sting of the words strike me as if a wet towel had been snapped against my skin. The intent of the language was received as the speaker had intended and he smirked arrogantly. Again, I was confronted with the messiness that I had allowed to build up around me and I asked myself how long did I live this way—6 years, 12 years, 18 years?
I decided to step inside as they loaded the rest of the stuff onto the trailer they were pulling so that I could avoid being reminded of the mire in which I had acquiesced. As they were wrapping up and getting ready to pull away, I returned to the garage to remove the last of the remaining vestiges of the fall. I opened the garbage can lid for easy access as I went about my work and noticed that several items that were to be returned their rightful owner among the pieces of household goods had been tossed inside. And, I wondered how long had I been accepting someone else’s garbage into my world—6 years, 12 years, 18 years?
It’s amazing the amount of sludge we not only allow into our lives, but we become so immune to it that we often don’t even see it anymore…until, one spring morning when the sunlight breaks through the gray winter skies it is totally exposed! It is in those moments of revelation that we get to make a choice. Do we pull the broom out and kick up some dust as we lighten our load or do we look past the weight of the silt for another 6 years, 12 years, or 18 years? Take it from me, the good news is that the broom is within reach.