|Attending a concert with my brother|
Let me explain.
I needed to rest. But I began to clean. Not just Lysol and broom kinda clean, but inside out clean. Two strong words reverberated in my heart and mind at the beginning of June: Clean and Open.
So I raked. And tore brush out from under grandpa's bushes. Ripped weeds from under the potting shed, climbed a ladder to clean the roof with spraying soap and water. All the while thinking, "Clean it out. Open it up. Clean it out. Open it up."
I slowly pressure washed 800 square feet of a wooden deck, board by board, rail by rail and underneath each nook and cranny, breaking not 1, not 2, but 3 machines. A leak would spout in the wrong place, the engine shut down..... but I was undeterred, and determined to finish the big clean. Watching the old melt away and the original new unveiled once again, was therapeutic. The result is beautiful.
I finally put my downstairs back together. Reaching into packed up decor from the flood of 2011 (aka hot water heater disaster). I found lost artifacts and pictures, cleaned them and displayed them.
The theme didn't stop there. Looking back, I see it everywhere. Not one to buy frivolous things for myself, I walked right into the store at the beginning of summer like a woman on a sacred mission and purchased the best stereo system I could find with speakers loud enough to scare every squirrel within miles. I set it up on top of my piano and opened the windows. McLachlan's "Building A Mystery" was first, then John Mayer's "Continuum" album (Bold Love and In Repair) plus all my old worship CDs from back in the day, especially the mega praise hit "Open The Eyes of My Heart, Lord." I played them over and over. The lyrics sank deep in my heart. I danced. I prayed. I sang. The rake took on a whole new rhythm.
I felt like a clean slate.
I realized things were unraveling in a way I hadn't seen in years. Whatever the Universe was trying to tell me, I was listening with all my heart. By the end of summer vacation, I'd mended a riff with my mother that I thought would never happen (initiated by her), sought out some aged relatives in a nursing home and made peace and new memories with them (including my delightful 101-year-old first grade teacher), watched my talented brother embark on a new journey of songwriting and service to his church as we deeply reconnected in ways I never imagined, more healing, and continue to be pleasantly surprised as others from my past have reached out to me recently with an honesty I appreciate but never expected.
Did they call to me or did my willingness to be open draw me to them?
What does all this have to do with raking and pressure washing and dancing in the dark? I don't know. All I know for sure is that once I took the first step in the clearing out process, outside in my yard, I felt some chains fall off. It was dirty, exhausting, exhilarating, scary work. Dipping into the past and ripping out weeds always is. The thing is not to be afraid. They're just dead weeds. Jump right in. You can't be afraid of what you take control of. Truth. Clarity. Openness. The result can be a beautiful thing.