Artist: Honor C. Appleton | Source: I Am A Child
There is always one moment in childhood
when the door opens and lets the future in.
~ Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
When I was a little girl, even before I had siblings old enough to play with me, I loved to play in my south-facing farmhouse bedroom. Oh, I liked to play in the kitchen and the living room too, but the tiny room that seemed perpetually filled with light and sunshine was a favourite spot. My little iron frame bed sat in one corner and a little table I think my dad made sat under the window where pretty curtains must have fluttered on summery days.
A tallish dresser sat against the wall by the doorway; I still remember the pretty floral decals my mom put on after she painted it. Funny, I don't really remember the drawers that must have housed my socks and shirties, white cotton undies, tops and bottoms, but I can tell you about the two bottom drawers. That's where I could keep my play things -- I loved opening and closing those drawers and finding my treasures.
From the beginnings of my very young life, I was already turning into a dyed-in-the-wool, bonafide collector and saver of all manner of treasures -- paper and otherwise -- which I stored in those two deep drawers. Scraps of paper, coloring books and story books, pencils, crayons, cherished old creamery cheque stubs and handbills with all that lovely empty space on the backs for drawing and practicing my letters ... not to mention assorted knickknacks like empty spice tins and buttons and bits of ribbon. Wooden thread spools. Ohhhh, I loved all that clobber. It was my stuff.
Alas, I wasn't very good at keeping it all tidy. And things got messy in my room. So there would come that blessed day when dear Mommy would clean it all up for me. I helped. Although a little nervous about what she might discard, there would come that moment when the job was done, and it was all neat and tidy again.
How I loved my little room in that moment. Something happy would well up on the inside of me. A feeling of contentment and blissfulness. I loved the tidiness ... I loved that the clutter was gone. And, most interesting was that I now wanted to be in that space. I wanted to play there. And create. I'd look in my tidy drawers to find the crayons were back in their box and discover some 'lost' toy.
Some things never change. As you know from our last post we've been cleaning, decluttering, sorting through every drawer, cupboard, closet and shelf. Lots done, more to do. Today we tackled the laundry cupboard -- funny how you have to clean out the closet that holds all the 'cleaning' supplies. The flower vase shelf was ungainly and I don't remember the last time I wiped off little drip blobs from the fabric softener bottle. But when it was all straightened out, I have to admit when I came by later, I had to open the door just so I could stand there and feel the bliss of my tidy space.
As we've been checking off the tasks day by by, I admit to feeling a shift ... a sense of liberty, even a feeling of clearance (like when an airplane gets clearance for take-off). I'm enjoying my home again. And, I have renewed urge to make something ... like the old cartoon Herman when he felt so inspired, he said to his wife, 'Quick, give me something to invent.'
Clearing out the old makes room for the new. Having things in order is like balm to my mind. And like candy to my creativity. Our brains like order, I'm certain of it. They work for us more efficiently when there is some sense of order in our physical space. I feel like I can relax into other creative work now because I don't have all this stuff hanging around, cluttering my space and my thoughts. I told my sister the other day that I even had the urge to start up a writing project I'd buried a while ago. And we're not even done this 'clearing the clobber' project yet ... just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait!
A little every day is still the motto. In the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began".
Here's wishing you a beautiful day!