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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Unmowed, Untidy and Overgrown (and a Link)

The heat has come early to our Ohio River valley town, humid days in the 90s and nights hovering above 70 degrees. We've turned on the air conditioner, much to my dismay; we can usually postpone that event until we're closing in on the 4th of July, spending the months of May and June in the warm but endurable breezes created by lots of fans and open windows.

Not this year.

This year it's already too hot to mow the yard, unless I choose to mow by moonlight. So things are a little shaggy around here. A little overgrown. The old roses are spilling onto my backyard bench, the mulberry branches are all low and heavy with berries. The honeysuckle has gone rampant. It's getting very woodsy out there. I love it.

I've been house- and pet-sitting for a friend these past two hot and humid weeks, making liberal use of her family's lovely backyard pool while keeping company with an enormous golden retriever and a sweet speckled cat. The house is perhaps 15 years old, handsome and stately, situated in a quiet, manicured subdivision a couple miles from my own (much less manicured) neighborhood. It's a nice house. It has nice features. It's very clean. After a few days there I went on an active search for dust bunnies. Crumbs. Grime. Water spots on bathroom mirrors. Dirt.

Did I find any of these? I did not. As I said, it's a very clean house.

My own little house is not so clean. It's also not 15 but rather 150 years old (yes.) It holds our lives, plus a century and a half of life prior to us (swept out on occasion, of course.) I imagine I could scrub for days and not eradicate all the visible dirt.

I like the contrast.

Which is a long way to lead up to the link I'm leaving you with, a post that stands in stark contrast to my mundane musings on flora and dirt: a book excerpt and commentary on American slavery that will wrench your heart and perhaps move you to action. I fear we could scrub for years and not eradicate this stain. But sunshine is the great disinfectant, is it not? A tip of the hat to Maryscott O'Connor at My Left Wing for shining the light. Please go read.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the link. Very powerful and moving, makes me ashamed. And your garden bench is lovely.

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