Spring Clean.

It’s that time of year. Although I lack discipline in general cleaning, at least once a year I have to clean everything. I pull all the furniture away from the walls and clean behind and underneath it. I pull everything out of storage and try and figure out what to throw out. I sort though piles and papers and discover more than what is on the surface of my life.

This pulling and sifting and sorting always gives me a kind of bittersweet nostalgia. In my everyday life, I forget that while I’m living, what I’ve done is piling up behind me. I’m an engine pulling boxcars full of experiences through my life.

I see the shells from a Scottish beach twenty years ago and I remember a town where I saw my cousin’s eyebrows on a stranger, and then learned that stranger was actually my relative.

I see the grainy photocopied face of a girl I think of every time I see train tracks. I remember how we walked in the woods and felt safe together.

I touch the two brass horses my grandmother gave me. I remember her shelf full of curios, and the smell of her suite at my uncle’s.

I read a letter from a boy I haven’t seen for a decade. I hope he is happy; It was always in doubt.

I see a photograph of a girl who is dead now. I miss her sometimes.

All these memories are inside me, somewhere in the back of my head. It’s a kind of miracle that I do my everyday thing, working and sleeping and cooking and shopping and dishes and laundry, and yet I have done all those things, seen all those sights, known all those people.

I’m a human being, in the middle of a life.

3 Comments to “Spring Clean.”

  1. By Duncan, February 26, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

    Lovely. Dang, you’re a beautiful writer.

  2. By Liz, February 26, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

    Thank you. It was a beautiful realization.

  3. By Beth, February 27, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

    I have felt these feelings, I understand. But you said it better than I ever could. Thank you.

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