People close to me, my mother chief of them, will have no problem calling yesterday’s incident a miracle. Even I can’t believe it. At noon Saturday, I just stood up from my computer chair, clapped my hands into a determined clasp, and declared, “We’re gonna do some cleaning, dude!”
And suddenly the heavenly host burst into song.
Before the procrastinator in me could parade its list of excuses (‘Gutom lang ‘yan, kapatid’), my mind had started to envision a clean room with a reconfigured layout. Mentally, I moved my bed and desk, the only two significant furniture in my tiny room, and weighed each configuration’s pros and cons.
The self-help books got it right: Vision is a powerful motivator. I could almost feel it in my hands and feet—no more grainy floor; goodbye to clutter; dust be gone; refreshing new layout. Peace, sweet peace…
Okay. The dust layers were not about to go without a fight. They were dead-set on engaging the disturber of their peaceful settlement, making him sneeze until he surrendered. Achoo!
But I was determined and war-hungry as a Spartan soldier, sans sculpted abs. “Achoo!” would be my battle cry instead of the Spartans’ guttural “Ah-hoo!” The battle lines were drawn, and I was armed to the teeth—with wet rag, floor mop, and trash bag.
First off, deal with the clutter under the desk and bed. Squatting on the floor (still grainy), I sorted stuff, mostly paper, into two piles: “Keep This” and “Buh-bye.” In between achoos! I found receipts, work docs, travel mementos that I had once upon a time searched for but never found, until now.
Next mission: Reinstate the vinyl-tiled floor to its white glory. After aggressive mopping (complete with bleach), the best I could achieve was a clean floor in varying shades of off-white. Not bad, I guess. The important thing is it’s clean and dust-free, or so I consoled sweaty self.
I tried out three of my bed-and-desk layout options. Then I decided to go with the one that has me facing the curtainless window when I sit at the desk. Aside from the exquisite option of scaring neighbors with a sinister grin every now and then, this new position allows me to see a patch of the sky and the mango tree across the street. Nice, a welcome break from all the concrete surrounding me.
The new position of the bed isn’t bad either. My head is to the window and my feet to the door. The only downside is that, given the right lighting and angle, I think I’m visible—in a Big-Brother way—to my neighbors when I lie in bed. Fortunately, this situation can be easily remedied by curtains or blinds. As for my paranoia, that’s another story.
* * *
After the miracle clean-up, I set my laptop on my clutter-free desk that now faced the window. Kuya Jaime, a friend and mentor who’s doing doctorate studies in Japan now, was online. I boasted about my miracle clean-up; he thinks it’s a miracle too! (I lived with his family for a time in college so he knows how, er, domestically-challenged I am.)
It’s easy to be candid and open with Kuya Jaime. Our talk progressed smoothly from pleasantries to deeper sentiments about life. He listened to my frustrations and dead-ends, and then graciously reminded me about the truth that Easter is, indeed, about celebrating hope. Our Blessed Hope.
* * *
Life’s dust and clutter can—and have time and again—robbed me of seeing clearly ahead, into the glorious eternity when God will have set all things right. I’m a restless creature, and my spiritual eyes get distracted all too easily. I can be bogged down by present circumstances that reduce me into feeling powerless and hopeless.
Thankfully, the Risen Lord mercifully ordains clean-up sessions, necessary chores in my soot-prone life. My sudden urge to put order to my room is most likely an outward echo of an internal, more pressing need.
* * *
Today is Easter Sunday. From where I now sit typing this, I can hear more distinctly the chirping of the birds; it is musical. When I turn my head slightly to the right, I glimpse through the screened window a piece of the summer sky accented by mango tree leaves. When I turn inside my heart, I sense a fresh cup of hope waiting to spill over.
Happy Easter! 🙂