Gran's Apple Butter Blog

January 31, 2012

Going Home, Excerpt: Good Housekeeping (8VI)

Chapter 8 ~ Good Housekeeping

Housekeeping: Yup, that’s what I said. Weren’t expecting that one, were you? Neither was I, the first time Gran mentioned it. I didn’t think being at home meant resting on my laurels and eating bon-bons all day, did I?

Once we have a chance to relax for a bit, our next lesson is all about keeping house and homemaking. Even reflected homes need to be cared for, maintained, and occasionally spruced up. You don’t have to start making stained glass windows with dried-out nail polish chips (although Gran said that was a highly creative idea), but there are some valuable lessons to be learned here.

As we sat on the front steps one day, watching autumn leaves drop with the tranquility of winter’s first breath, Gran told me about the old idea of our body – our home – being a temple. This was new for me, ‘cause I felt more like a tom boy than an altar boy, so I just kept quiet and listened. How different might our lives be if we believed this, about all our homes – from our bodies and four walls to our communities, our families, our jobs? And what if we acted on this belief?

Gran said the word temple means a place where God lives. Sometimes that’s a tent in a desert, sometimes it’s a dome with golden towers on top, sometimes it’s a cave, sometimes a cathedral, and sometimes it’s the heart of a little girl, just like me.

I liked that idea, so I decided that since my body was this House of God, I’d better take very good care of it. I would respect it and love it, and ask others to do the same. Gran was pretty happy with that decision. She tried to hide it, but her eyes gave her away.

In fact, Gran thought this was so important she called me the week before she died to remind me to sweep my “house” at least once a week. Don’t forget the attic and the basement, she said, where the biggest dust balls build up, ‘cause they think we won’t notice ‘em in the darkness. Clearly, she wasn’t sure if I’d fully mastered the concept.

Only later did I begin to understand on how many levels this applied. It’s not just about protecting the carpet. You see, dust balls have a life of their own – we don’t have to carry them in. They’ll help themselves to an open door or come sifting through a window screen, then do their best to blend in to a corner. When we let stuff stack up in front of those corners or that dark, creepy place under the stairs, it gets harder and harder to see what’s underneath, what’s causing the whole mess.

Conversely, if we stay on top of things, our pet dust bunny may never turn into a wild, raging dust-demon. But then again, that’s just my theory…

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010-2011. All rights reserved.
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