Flash in the Pan

A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

Cleaning Up

by Christine Falcone

I got my three-year-old daughter some new library books the other day, one of which is about Chinese New Year. Weıve been reading it together every day, several times a day, for the past week. Sheıs fascinated by the pictures of colorful dragons and lions, lanterns and firecrackers, wants to know what all the special foods represent: oysters symbolize good fortune; Chinese cabbage, wealth; sweet and sour fish, surplus; etc. But the page sheıs most drawn to is the one about cleaning up and clearing out. She sits, mesmerized as I read the words about tidying up, its importance in making way for the New Year, traces the pictures of tiny brooms and clouds of dust with her finger. I wonder what the attraction to cleaning is for this little girl. At her cousinıs house, the toy she runs to isnıt the dollhouse, the train set or the pretend kitchen, its plastic food grubby from touch. Itıs the make-believe janitor cart. Maybe itıs my obsession with cleanliness and order, perhaps my own maniacal neatness has been passed on to her. Or maybe thereıs something to be said about the energy around a clean space ­ maybe itıs the openness, the sense of possibility, its emptiness an invitation to be something more.

Christine Falcone lives, cleans and writes in Novato, CA. See her regular contributions to Searchlights & Signal Flares here at Tiny Lights Online.

Seventh Flash

The Cycle Of Balloons by Lucy Baker
Secret Quarters by Rodney L. Merrill
Too Much Of A Good Thing by Judith Bradshaw-rouse
Birthday Presents by Karen Mcgarry
With A Little Help From Marion by Scott Eggerding

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