Monk Work

Puttering helped, as did sweeping and working with my hands at simple tasks like washing dishes, because it’s monk work.
— Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually)

When I find myself in a mood, swept away by feelings of uncertainty, lack, and hopelessness, I get out the broom. I am thankful that I haven't felt burdened with difficult emotions much lately, but I have learned from past experience that sweeping the floor is a way to sweep away the dusty dark layers in my heart. I don't know how it works, just that doing something small and physical transfers light and hope. 

Emotions aside, I am inspired to sweep with more regularity now that we have new flooring in our kitchen and living room. After two long years of ugly kitchen tile that transitioned rudely to unfinished concrete in our living room, we finally have the pleasure of walking on wood. We endured a couple days of renovation chaos, including very loud Hispanic music, a backup kitchen in our apartment, and detailed cleaning after the fact. But it is finished. 


We traveled to see family in NC over the weekend, and on the way home stopped at Ikea to buy an island for our kitchen. TJ and Bauer put the two-part island together last night, and ta-da! I have my primary workstation and hotspot back for all manner of activity to manage a household. Until we are ready to take on the full kitchen makeover in a year or two, I expect this island will serve us well as a landing spot and refuge in all of life's ups and downs.


You do know that if I was stuck on a desert island, all I'd really want is my kitchen and my books of quotes. 

I am thankful for our new floor and for the monk work of sweeping that is an antidote to the messy, crazy places in my heart and mind. I slow down, sweep, sometimes Swiffer, swell with satisfaction, and sense significance in this type of service to my place and to my people.