The morning sun gleams through the east window, gilding the remains of last night’s dinner party. Furniture sits in odd places, having been scooted into spontaneous pairings for old friends to whisper secrets and for new friends to get acquainted. The fireplace is void of flames now but overflowing with warm ashes. On the wood floor I notice errant napkins, crumbs, and beautiful smudges from spilled drinks. I walk through the glorious chaos to the kitchen, where the only clean spot is what space has been cleared for morning coffee, which waits for me hot and fragrant and loyal.
After a party I am always tempted to leave things in diarray for a while, so we can visually soak up the treasured vibrations of friendship and love. Sometimes I am more anxious to get photos of the aftermath than of the event’s set up. I cannot agree that a good party ever leaves a home spotless, whether hosted for children or adults. The mess is a small trophy for me.
Since daily life goes on, the cleaning must ensure. But I don’t think of it as removing something dirty or righting some wrong done to my home. Instead, while touching each item I try to gently press the good memories into our surroundings. While pacing through the affected rooms, collecting dirty dinner plates and drinking glasses, scooting couches and chairs back to their every day positions, and fluffing up plants, I imprint into our domestic conscience the laughter and energy of every one of our beloved friends and family members. As I wipe clean the smudged tables I am actually polishing them with the smiles we traded the night before.
We feel so lucky to be surrounded by good friends. They make us wonderfully disheveled.
The writer’s prompt this Tuesday
was to discuss “Cleaning House” in 300 words or less,
without offering up Heloisian tutorials..
This is what came to mind.
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