Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
A Blessing Of Sweeping
by Ginger Child
Outside, a gardener is sweeping debris from the street, and I listen to the rhythmic swooshing sound, back and forth, back and forth. A lullaby of sorts.
I think of all the sweeping that goes on around the world. Sweeping since time began...in a garden, in a cave. Sweeping the earth, sweeping palaces, sweeping schools, hospitals and prisons. Sweeping in barns and taverns. Cottages, ships, trains. Churches and sacred groves.
Babies learning to sweep, grandmothers sweeping. Families sweeping. Men, women and children sweeping.
Swoosh, swoosh; easy strokes, simple movements. Gathering up the mess of life. Mess that gets underfoot, mess that causes disharmony, scraps from the creative process of Life. Mess that must be gathered and thrown out. Dangerous messes like broken glass, beautiful messes like sparkly paper scraps. I pause and think of the hundreds of things that need to be swept up and discarded.
When I sweep, I am connected to all the women of all the ages and nations, and I marvel that the broom itself is unchanged. A simple device....a stick, some grasses, and still we sweep, sweep, sweep with this ancient tool. In this age of Newer and Faster, there is nothing that is better than an ordinary broom.
Whether physical, or spiritually symbolic, the broom is an icon of renewal, beauty, and the peace it brings. It does not require strength, just a gentle motion, a willingness to pick it up and go through the motions of sweeping, sweeping, sweeping.
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