When I'm finally satisfied that all are off in other rooms, my brooms pulls at the crumbs of a busy family and what is left behind from their eating, playing and creating. Intent on that hard-to-reach corner, I don't hear my husband come up behind me. "Honey, I'm home!" I turn to see him in the doorway, work weary. I smile and go to meet him, and we stand together in the mess as we embrace.
How often have I carefully swept up my little grievances and my pain? I put it into neat little piles, and ask everyone to please step around it. To understand the effort I have put forth in gathering it. Life is messy, but at least controlled. Or so I think.
So many trample through it and scatter it. It's almost impossible for them to avoid it. After all, it stands in the way. I place it between myself and those that love me most. Sometimes you just have to step in the dirt to reach out.
I'm back to sweeping the kitchen. This time dishes have been washed, and the remains of the meal seem to have all made it to the floor. We've sipped and tasted and left behind the rest, and it has settled to crumbs and debris around my feet.
As I once again gather piles, I'm aware of someone entering the kitchen. "Don't step in the dirt!" I say, a little too forcefully. No answer. I turn to see his sweet smile. "I won't, Mommy! I'm here to help you." He eagerly steps forward with dustpan in hand and stoops to the floor.
Time for joy.