Thursday, November 10, 2016

To Dust

By the time you read this, the voting will be over, the answering machine messages for and against will have ceased, and the finger pointers will find new targets.  

The dust will settle.  

Dust.  The common denominator of humanity.  From such we were formed and to it we will return. What a tidy play on words it is to sum up the total of a campaign season's worth of fuss and feathers! The entire enterprise is like the progress of a semi of grain down a gravel road: a plume in the distance; a rumble of wheels. grind of brakes, and choking cloud; and then the air clears.  

 "For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:14)

That is dust as metaphor, metaphysical dust, Keynesian dust.

On this beautiful November afternoon, I prefer to ponder the many manifestations of dust in the short term.    I consider the subject as I sweep the wood floors of my house, building midden piles every 10 feet or so to be gathered by the dust pan and flung out of doors to be recycled...or tossed right back indoors by a gust of wind.  The measure of this "dust" reflects the harvest season and there are blessings to be counted in its contents.

Item: a couple of ladybugs/Asian beetle carcasses and some actively creepy Democrat bugs.  

Blessing: it's November and still warm enough that these creatures aren't hibernating. 

Item: bits of corn stubble. 

Mixed blessing: whether the corn in overall cuffs is the result of bountiful yield, or is debris due to breakdowns and repairs, a longer harvest is the result.

(Observation: Concentration of both harvest and garden detritus increases in the bathroom.)

Item: long blondish hair.

Blessing: Sure evidence that lovely imaginative artistic bookworms have been hanging out and shedding.  There are other bookworms, but their hair is much shorter.

Item: insulation off electrical wire, bits of copper Romex, dried globs from a hot glue gun, shards of a dismembered Bic pen.  Not the leavings of ordinary existence, but evidence that Aaron has been in the house, working on a some YouTube project.  He didn't meet with complete success, but the desire to build, the MacGyver-like impulse to make work and make do, and the DejaVu moment when I'm not sure whether the boy looking for #22 wire and a six volt battery at 8 pm on a Saturday night is 13 year old Aaron...or 13 year old reason enough to smile.

Item(s): shredded cheddar, onion peel, Cheerios, Snickers wrappers. Flour. What happens when one batch of scalloped potatoes and ham (recipe says serves 12!) is deemed insufficient for this Sunday's meal in the field and a second pan is necessary.  Lizzie and Josh request a breakfast of  bread and honey; that means flour on the floor and a delicious homey fragrance of baking bread when bedtime arrives before the clocks fall back.

Dust. The big stuff takes a broom, but the grey fluff with no name is gathered with the Swiffer.   Running the Swiffer up and down the hallway and under the beds lets me sleep well at night.  

Dust.  It's what makes fall skies so brilliant, combines so flammable, and handkerchiefs a necessity.  
It clings tenaciously to mirrors and windshields making Windex and paper towels tools as indispensable to harvest as socket drivers and vise grips.

  The people of Israel were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night: the bellwethers for bean harvest are combine lights by night and plumes of dust by day....

 Dust. Omnipresent and unavoidable. Like death and taxes.

  Show me your dust, and I will tell you what you are.

 I dust; therefore I am. 

 In the smallest of ways, it's a defiance of the demons of disorder, an attempt to establish an oasis against chaos.

Until it's time to garden, that is.

No comments:

Post a Comment