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Cleaning the Bookshelves…Cleaning my Soul

It seems hard to believe that as much as I love books, and enjoy having them throughout my house, my husband loves them more than me. This can be difficult at times, because there is rarely a book that is deemed unworthy of sitting on our bookshelves. I can pick out twenty in a heartbeat, and when my husband sees the pile I plan on taking to the used book store, half of them always end up back in our library, where some shelves are now two deep with novels and non-fiction books that are must reads, and poetry books whose words are balm for a busy life. I definitely wouldn’t win any decorating awards for spacious shelves with lots of knick knacks and a few token books that are just for looks.

With the start of the school year, we are working to find room on the shelves by the desk to put school books, and even my work notebooks. This morning, while my husband was gone, I pulled books off of shelves, dusted and organized them, and was able to come up with five bags of books to either take back to those people I borrowed them from, give away as gifts or sneak to the second hand book store. I made sure I didn’t take any of my husband’s books, just ones that I have outgrown and am willing to share with others.

As I sit down to write at the clean desk next to shelves that now have space to breathe, I rejoice that in the process of lightening the load in my life. My heart feels happy, knowing that I will now see friends that have been absent for awhile, their books marking pages in my life, reminding me of the joy we’ve shared.

The shelves, free of dust and neatly organized, help me see the dust that covers my own heart where I have held grudges, pain and fear. I consciously run the duster through the corners and move out those feelings that no longer serve me. Returning books to the rightful owners encourages me to let go of those hindering energies that are not mine, but I have been carrying just the same.

A pressed oak leaf falls out of a book as it is returned to the shelf. It is a reminder of a joyous time in my life when my husband and I were first married. My heart smiles, my soul sings, and my life is new again. The action of cleaning my house this morning has created space for me to think, breathe and be in touch with my heart and all its mysteries.
Not that I want to do this again next week, but it has been a wonderful way for me to dust the corners in my life.

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