If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean. —Mother Teresa
A quote I’ve posted ad nauseam.
It’s not easy, focused sweeping. Constant practice is necessary (for me). There is no one I can hire to sweep for me. And I am so happy when I sweep and Super Girl my doorstep(s) into sparkling—I feel smart and powerful. But then gunk returns, some days absolutely by the minute, or a doorstep pops up from 1996, one I thought I’d scrubbed into a Rothko sort of easy modern—but there I am, cleaning it again, maybe with a sander and some heavy duty eco paint (light blue).
Before our literal doorstep, chimes sing and the hanging fern twirls in breezes (or harsh, desert-propelled winds) without falling off its hook and there’s a bench with a cheerful red cushion to sit on when removing your gardening or riding boots. My doorstep. My responsibility. Well, it’s scuffed and could use a sanding and a painting (white), but it’s clean and doesn’t smell like cat pee and it’s perfectly fine for a little boy to cross as he comes and goes with his Hot Wheels cars and Hero Factory figures. I removed the pair of black widows that used to live by our doorstep. I powerwashed cobwebs from the generic lintel. As I stand before our doorstep, arm muscles flexing from holding bags filled with weekly groceries, I feel a little rush of accomplishment and—ease. Food is going in the fridge. Bills are paid. The little boy is at a school where he thrives. I have time to focus on my art, that whatchamacallit only I can achieve, despite (or because of) any doorsteps I may have neglected or swept to within an inch of their architecture over the years. The current doorstep has much promise (perhaps a fancy lintel one day) and it’s quiet here—no radio, no TV news, no distractions except for the occasional gakking pet. Hi Ho!
Bye-bye doorsteps of 1996, dearth doorstep of 2004, etc.
Happiness begins at home.