“You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King
I am on the “how to do it” stair right now.
As a child my Saturday morning chore was to sweep the stairs. I would be handed the wooden brush and asked (or rather told) to get on with the task. I hated it. I didn’t see why I had to be the one doing it. Starting at the top of the stairs I would slowly and surely brush down the dirt of the week onto the next step,eyes filled with dust and feeling more and more grubby with each step I would try to focus on each individual step rather than the whole task. Once on the bottom step I would sweep all of the muck to the hall floor and, standing amidst it all, wonder how one week could generate so much mess and dirt. In the ensuing years I had forgotten how I used to feel when made to do this task, I had also avoided ever having to be the one who took up the brush to sweep down the stairs.
The other day, out of nowhere, I decided to sweep my stairs with the handbrush. Taking my time and starting at the top I slowly worked my way down. The stairs in my house are on three seperate levels so there are quite a lot. Upon reaching the mezzanine level I stopped and sat on the stair. After a while I realised that I had been sat there for some time pondering life. It occured to me that sweeping the stairs was giving me the space to work out some of the things that have been bothering me. A mini meditation. I laughed to myself as I thought about the scene in the Karate Kid “wipe on wipe off” and then out of nowhere the Martin Luther King quote popped into my head, followed swiftly by the words to one of my favourite songs.
It seems that sweeping the stairs clears up more than the dirt from the week, it clears my head and allows me to think more clearly. Now where did I leave that brush.