Every time I turn around, I find myself amazed at how quickly dust settles. Maybe my two dogs are to blame, but maybe not. It seems that I can dust and sweep one day, only to find my crying out for another dusting mere days later. Thus goes life. Without constant maintenance and care, cherished things fall by the wayside until you scarcely recognize them under all the dust of neglect. The moment of choice, looms a precipice – to care takes you down one path and to ignore another. They start so close that they seem the same, but the distance widens exponentially.
Friendships require such care. Somehow I missed this lesson in childhood. Friendship seemed easy back then. Go to school and play on the playground. Sleepovers, fingernail painting, and whispered secrets hardly seem like work. Yet, without those bonding rituals, I find myself left not knowing how to keep friends. Dust settles quickly, the newness wears off, and each person faces the choice to dust or not dust. Pick up the phone and call? Send a message? Or just let another day drift by lazily until the thickened dust obscures all memory of how to reach out?
I find that when we move somewhere new that I fastidiously clean the new home. I sweep and mop and dust two or three times a week. Not having a job plays a huge role in this, but more stems from wanting to cherish the new home. At the same time, though, I find myself less inclined to dust off friendships and other modes of communication. Those fall by the wayside as I cocoon inward. I wish I knew why I feel the need to protect myself that way. Because sometimes, by the time the dust settles, it’s too late to go back.
The only time is now. I cannot go back and dust the past away. All I can do, is start from now and try to do better moving forward.