Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Equinox Cleaning

Equinox is upon us, the mid-point between the longest night of the year and the longest day. We already feel the effects of the lengthening days and we bask in the warmth we finally feel from the light. We’re itching to throw the doors and windows open and air out our living spaces, to shake out the cobwebs and clear out dust.
In our lives we are constantly shedding skins and starting over. Shedding skins and reinventing ourselves. Shedding skins and letting go of what is no longer needed. Every year, at spring equinox, I tackle a room or two of my house, going through my possessions and furnishings, culling out what has gone unused or forgotten. It invariably also becomes a spring cleaning of my emotional house, as I evaluate my attachments to the items I consider letting go of. This year it was my office, my nest. Included in that room was the dreaded storage closet of doom, filled with boxes that haven’t seen the light of day in over a decade.
I re-organized. I put hands on everything. I stopped to read through old letters and cards from specific places of my life revived memories I had previously left to whisper and rest. I am at a crossroad, roughly halfway through the years I expect to live. Sorting through that closet, my life unfolded behind me, mementos of everywhere I have been and everyone I have loved.
I smiled joyfully through most of it, as the memories rippled through me. What a treasure it was to remember, in my body, the friendship and love of such innocent times. It helped buoy the box of painful things that had been tucked away. But those memories didn’t sting so badly this time. Even that box held lessons for wiser eyes, ways to not repeat those mistakes. I read and I culled, and as I culled, I re-organized.
I found the hole the mice were using to get in and sealed it. I found the alien spider’s secret corner of egg sacks. I found a box of crafts and stories I thought had been lost. And I found the last card my Grandpa gave me before he died. Which made me pause again.
He’ll be gone 10 years this Monday and I find it hard to believe so much of my life has been lived without him, when he is such a firm part of my identity as a grown-up. I still have so much more life left to come. I will never stop missing him. I am aware that part of my flurry of cleaning each spring is related to the uselessness I feel in the things I have no control over, like when someone I love dies. Cleaning- the wiping, the scrubbing, the scraping- delivers instant gratification. And it gets things done.
I closed that closet door, covered in grime and feeling elated. It wasn’t just spring cleaning and de-cluttering. It was time travelling. I walked through who I was and the choices I have made, making more decisions about what to hold onto and what to let go of. I shed skins, old versions of me that no longer apply.

I learned more about the person I am now. I learned that I can’t regret the path I took to get here, because I like who I am. I like where I am. It’s another Equinox cleaning come and gone. I’m standing at the crossroads, looking back over my shoulder, while prepping what is needed for the next move forward, weighing the roads ahead of me. Wondering what awaits in the next turning of the year.

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