It’s Endless!

It’s endless,” I said to Fred. “Every time I finish cleaning one thing, I see something else that’s dirty.”

I wanted our home to be neat and tidy for our friends who would be staying there for a week while we camp in the Rockies. I know what it’s like to stay in an Airbnb, and our place looked nothing like that. So the cleaning extravaganza began.

We got to work in over 30-degree heat, repositioning the fans as we went. We swept under beds and reorganized overflowing boxes. We wiped down the fridge and stove and cleaned the cupboards inside and out. We replaced threadbare sheets and old washcloths, swept down spider webs, and cleaned windows and mirrors and grimy fingerprints everywhere.

We planned to spend the long weekend with my parents, but they weren’t up to hosting us in the heat. All the campsites were already reserved, so we didn’t leave until Monday. The extra time was just what we needed to do all the spring cleaning that had missed a few springs.

By the time we left, it still wasn’t finished. But it was good enough. Our friends reassured us they were used to the lived-in look. I was glad to receive an email from them the day after they arrived thanking us for our generosity and saying they’d slept well.

I’m writing this post in Yoho National Park while sitting in the car waiting for the rain to stop. I’m not complaining. Yesterday we hiked the Iceline trail with spectacular views of Takakkaw Falls and the Emerald Glacier. I have to say this is way more fun than cleaning.

While we hiked, I thought about that overwhelming feeling I had when the cleaning felt endless and wondered what God was up to. I remembered something someone said recently. She was considering the contemplative value of being present with “what is” and not liking what she saw one little bit. I could relate to that. I liked life better when I didn’t see the dirt and hoped no one else saw it either.

We hadn’t noticed how much dust had collected because our focus was on “more important” things like work, rest, and play. But now I noticed it, and once I noticed it, I also noticed that I enjoy things being clean.

I doubt that cleaning is ever going to be a priority. But it’s a part of the life of an everyday pilgrim.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84:5 (NIV)

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the summer, semi-retired author Michelle and other historians from the Friends of Yoho lead guided walking tours of Field, BC by donation. The RCMP office, which was decommissioned in the ’90s, is now a guest house. The community hall used to be the Legion. In the ’70s some boisterous dances were held there and two sweet but formidable women in Royal Canadian Legion uniforms were the bouncers. The local coyote often makes an appearance. Michelle carries bear spray because a bear has been known to join the tour.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“A new broom sweeps clean, but the old broom knows the corners” by Kate Ter Haar. Used with permission.
Photo of Fred and Esther on the Red Chairs at Takakkaw Falls Aug 3, 2022, taken by a kind tourist. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2022.
The unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2022.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to It’s Endless!

  1. Rebecca McAskill says:

    Love this Esther! Sounds like a beautiful place to contemplate and let go of some cobwebs and clutter that cloud the mind and blur the vision from remembering God is the one doing the housecleaning in our lives as he shapes us into who we are meant to be.

    Like

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