The allergy season has me seeing clutter a little more clearly. This morning, through my red and swollen eyes, the thin layer of dust and pollen which has settled over the interior of my home became my enemy. It’s a more subtle version of the layer that’s settled over my city. The vehicles, windows, and lawn furniture are all sporting that ominous yellow top coat of death. It’s one thing to deal with sensitivities to cats and dust but, add Middle Tennessee pollen and I feel like I’m being assaulted.
This is that season every year when I want to slip away in the night to go live in a small concrete room with no furnishings. Once a day, I would use a hose and one of those huge industrial brooms to wash away all of the allergens. I would take with me only what fit in a backpack, which I would pack and sit just outside the door each night while I cleaned. I think the whole process would take about five minutes and on days like today, it sounds absolutely dreamy.
Instead, I live here, in the real world, where turning a hose on the place would do far more harm than good and so, sadly, I must dust.
This is at the root of my resistance to keeping anything that no longer serves me. I don’t want anything else to maintain. I don’t want to spend the extra time and energy dusting vases, bowls, trinkets, and whatever other assorted whatnot unless I absolutely love them or use them often. I don’t want to get on my hands and knees to scrub more bathtubs than we need to function as a family (which right now is only one but, honestly, I welcome a second). I don’t want to lose precious energy sorting and filing papers that I don’t actually need to keep.
I don’t want to spend hours and hours of my life tending my stuff. I want to tend my life.