Monday, May 12, 2008

Cleaning Up

Installing a new front door on the house.

My parents visited this past weekend. It’s been years since they’ve visited me wherever I was in the world. I spent the week beforehand cleaning the yard and the house. We augmented the landscaping, and did a very thorough spring-cleaning. My wife accused me of trying to impress my parents, which grated against my Buddhist bones. I secretly believe that she made that statement on purpose.

I like neat and orderliness, and it’s always been that way for me. I don’t think that my ego is involved at all; at least that’s what I keep telling myself (Zen joke there). Of course with a 4 year-old running around it’s always a challenge to keep things in their place. I wonder sometimes what I’m doing to my son’s development by chasing after him making him pick-up everything that he casts aside, or clean up after every mishap or spill. No worries, my wife’s Type B personality more than balances my compulsions.

I’m reminded of the story of the young Zen monk who spends the day meticulously picking the fallen leaves from the rock garden, situated underneath a small tree. The head monk walks by and the student proudly displays his thoroughness. The old master walks over to the tree and gives it a good shake, and a handful of leaves gently fall on the pristine garden. “Better”, he says and moves on.

1 comment:

Hope said...

Those doors are perfect!