HNY-2016! 2015 was a fantastic year for me, and I hope 2016 brings as many blessings and more to us all.
Last night I reflected on what I was doing a year ago when the calendar turned to 2015. It was the first evening I spent starting to clean my house in preparation for my dad’s arrival and for the renovations to begin. I only had to be on-call for New Year’s Day, so I stayed at the house until the wee hours of the morning–2 or 3 a.m. I think–scrubbing the walls and dreaming of how lovely the house would look once it was all spiffed up and freshly painted.
The house was in pretty good shape when I bought it, but the walls were filthy dirty. There must have been an oil furnace back in the day, because most of the bedroom walls had some kind of grey exhaust-like smudging above all the floor vents. I foolishly thought that a few hours of scrubbing with buckets of hot vinegar-water would brighten it up and ready it for primer and paint. After about 20 minutes, with little to no noticeable difference, I thought to myself: What have I done? Is this soot ever going to come off?! I eventually had bring out the big guns–TSP chemical solution–to suck the dirt out of the walls. The process took most of that first week, and included about 7-steps: wet walls with hot water, clean with TSP, rinse with hot water, wash with second round of TSP, follow by second hot water rinse, complete with final round of vinegar-water and one last rinse. The OCD-person in me had to draw the line somewhere and trust that priming the walls with Killz would have to suffice.
As I worked, I immediately became aware of what a cleansing process working on this home would prove to be for my life and for my soul. I was stripping away layers of memories and stains from the walls within this house, but I was also washing away the dirt of my divorce and the messes that were made in my unfortunate marriage. I also recalled that when my husband first left at the beginning of the previous summer, I instinctually worked from one end of that house to the other, washing the walls from floor to ceiling. I felt like a Jewish woman in mourning or something–participating in some purification ritual aimed at setting a fresh start, purging my home of the bad spirit behind so much of what had taken place there.
Just as my home improvements continue a year after that first night of wall-washing, so too does the healing process continue within me. I felt sad last night that I didn’t have somewhere more exciting to be and fun people with whom to celebrate. But at the same time, I’m grateful that I could be at home in my lovely Satis House, which will always accept me and receive me and reflect back to me images of dirty things having been made clean.
I leave you with this quote from T.S. Eliot that a little elf left in my stocking at work:
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.