If dust collects, find a broom

I covered the cloth in furniture polish and pushed it across the top of the wardrobe removing each object perched there and giving it a good going over.
When I was a boy, I always wondered what was on top of the wardrobe because I couldn’t see it. Now I wish I didn’t.
Dust seems to find its way into every place in our homes. I found it this past weekend settled in places that I was amazed it could find its way into.
Those dust bunnies that seem to playfully dance across the floors ran from my vacuum as if they were in fear for their lives. But after much effort, I managed to once again make my room a haven from the sneezing brought on by these allergens.
I have often wondered where all this dust comes from. I could understand when we kept windows and doors open to let in the cooler air, that it would sneak in from outside on those molecules which keeps us ticking.
Today though with almost every house closed up tight to keep in the air conditioning and heat, I am amazed at what sneaks through. I have filters on every vent yet it still gets in piling up underneath and on top of everything that does not move.
Dust is similar to the things that we let into our lives when we pay little attention to the details as we rush through each and every day.
The words uttered by a love one, important to them, but seemingly a nuisance to us, that we appear not to hear or acknowledge – some dust piles up.
The unknown person we cut off in traffic who the goes home and yells at their child or worse yet in anger causes an accident – some dust piles up.
The task we are assigned at work that we half-heartedly complete thinking no one will notice its insufficiencies – some dust piles up.
We don’t volunteer for that much needed charity project, though we have the time, and we have the right skills to make it happen – some dust piles up.
We don’t spend time with our loved ones because we are simply too tired and need to relax watching the game or going out with our friends – some dust piles up.
We do things, we would prefer others not know about – some dust piles up.
Easily, just like a neglected room in the house, we can allow corners or our lives to become covered in small particles that pile up. Over time much like the whimsical dust bunnies playfully dancing across the floor, these particles build up higher and higher.
Sometimes in life the piles eventually get so high they impact our relationships with others, create problems we cannot overcome, and leave us lying in the dirt gasping for breath.
It never hurts every now and again to take up a wide angled broom, turn on every light in your house, and sweep away all the dust, making things clean again. Put the problems and struggles in the dust bin and close the lid. It is amazing how clearing the air will allow you to breathe easier!

I walk behind the mower, therefore I am

When I began my working experience, I always looked forward to the arrival of warm weather.
I could hear my wallet growing exponentially with each inch rise of the green, green grass of home.
Well, maybe more like the neighbors’ grass since I didn’t get paid for mowing our yard.
When I was about 10, I saved enough money from my allowance to buy a second hand push mower and then set out to find willing partners in my desire to become a millionaire before age 11. Well, that is a slight exaggeration, I was mainly hoping for a few neighbors who would give me $10 every couple of weeks to mow their yards.
I amassed a pretty good list of clients which kept me busy as long as my allergies didn’t get the best of me.  Al Weidenmuller was the first I think agreeing to my business proposal, but I had to learn how to deal with raking magnolia leaves prior to each mowing; next was Ed Mikell – with more Magnolia leaves.
Then as I progressed down the street, I picked up the Neils, occasionally the Reeds, who had Zoysia and I learned to hate that type of grass because it was so hard to push. Also sometimes the Grosses.
The list grew overtime and eventually I had to enlist my father to help get me to and from in his truck as I press on beyond walking distance.
I found the time behind the push mower a time to think, dream, write songs along to the rhythm of the engine in harmony with hits hum.
As I look back, sometimes I wonder where that youthful exuberance went for the activity. I kept up the business until I finished college, even adding other landscaping tasks and working sometimes miles from my home. Eventually though, I slowly weened my customers off my services as I wanted to focus on finding my fit in the professional world after earning my degree.  Leaving me with just the task of mowing my own yard.
Through the years, I have liked the task less and less, giving me the understanding of why so many were willing to accept my eagerness to mow. My late mother use to draw great joy from hopping upon the riding mower and going full speed around the task as I weeded and pushed. She looked forward to it, possibly because it was something she could accomplish with her failing health and see a positive outcome.
Sometimes now I am even blessed by the kindness of a neighbor who will knock mine out with his. I am so happy when I see his kindness and as happy when I return the favor to him.
Sometimes I miss that young boy and young man who looked forward to the inch by inch progress of the green growth, as I sit on my back porch, I look more forward to the end of the growing season and often quip, I should do like Hollywood – just kill it and paint it green so it stays the same.
No matter where you are in your synergy with the mower and the grass, I hope you find your bliss with the endeavor and make joy in the fact that I walk behind (or ride upon) the mower, therefore I am.

The freedom of nothing left to prove

It seems so much of our life is spent working to prove something to someone else.
In our early years we aspire to gain the approval of our parents or key mentors that wish to see us succeed in education, sports, music or whatever dream they hold for us or share with us.
Sometimes, it’s the approval of our peers in these same pursuits, or other less beneficial objectives of youthful exuberance. There are those who succeed here and those who fail.
Often these successes or failures catapult our emotional make up forward setting some of the undertones for our life. I know in my case, the failures left an underlying “I’m going to show you” settled deep in my craw. I drew upon that hurt for many years pushing me to over achieve in many ways.
No matter the outcome of youth we step forward hoping to once again prove to the world that we can be somebody – a success in work, a success in picking the right person to marry, a success in raising children, a success in whatever is next on the long list that we seek others’ approval to prop up our esteem, our importance, and our life.
Often we find ourselves in a cycle of seeking others approval for the rest of our life.
In a conversation, I was having with a friend the other day, I said something that I had not even thought about. As I look back upon the path I have travelled, I am blessed to have had so many distinctive mentors to which I have tried to prove my value in some aspect of my professional or personal endeavors.
As I began thinking except in the form of being a creator of art in word, note and other form seeking the approval of those of you who buy my work and help me sustain the existence I enjoy, I thought I had no one left to prove anything to. Many of my key mentors who held those roles in my life have taken their final curtain calls.
As I relayed the story of a recent acting experience, I heard the words come out of my mouth, that I really wanted someone to acknowledge I could do what I was aspiring to do.  I realized that I had not yet left behind that desire of proving something to someone. It was still buried inside me with one more youthful goal that had not been achieved in full but could still be accomplished if I tried hard enough.
There it is driving me forward. After years of feeling I had nothing left to prove, which sometimes is not a bad place to be, once again, my blood is pumping with a desire, a hope, a goal that energizes my step.
So what is better, being to the point of nothing left to prove to anyone or having someone who inspires you to do more? I guess it depends on your own get up and go. I know one lady around 90 working on her doctorate. She has nothing to prove except to please her own soul.
If you are generally a self-starter, you probably move along OK, but every now and again, somebody may need to pour a little gasoline in your carburetor to get a spark and provide that forward momentum. If you need that in your life, I pray you have someone who provides that opportunity in love. Because in reality there are only two of us in this race to the finish line, us and the good Lord, who gives us a new chance every day to prove we are somebody serving, sharing and loving others for Him.