Order is Golden

I finally got around to doing something I’ve wanted to do for ages. It has nothing to do with a bucket list. I didn’t even have to leave my house. In fact, getting the house in order was the whole point. First I cleaned out the linen closet. No matter how hard I try to keep it neat, it quickly descends into a percale jungle. Why was I holding on to sheets and pillowcases from college? They were in very good condition; surely someone else could use them.  And why not store the sheets for the guest room bed in the guest room?  Voila!  Those two moves gave me the space to fold and store the remainder.

Next up, the shallow closet that despite the labeled bins, had once again devolved into total disorder. The extension cord, heating pad, and chandelier bulbs irked me with their perennial falling off their shelf.  The arnica cream (for sore muscles) had migrated into the bin labeled “tummy and toes.” Face wash definitely didn’t belong in the basket with contact lenses and eye drops. I rehoused toilet paper, the heating pad, and the lightbulbs on a linen closet shelf and fashioned from an oatmeal box a nifty holder for the extension cord.

Next up was a kit for touch-up paint.  Earlier in the month I’d spent a few hours repairing the nicks in the wood trim throughout the house.  It was a cumbersome task with a near disaster or two with a paint can.  But when it was all done I was quite happy with the job.  Gone was the shallow gouge in a door. When I come up the stairs I am no longer met with a nicked newel post niggling me for a spot of paint.

The world is steeped in disorder and chaos. There is so much I cannot repair. But I can bring order to my own little corner. I can smooth and fold, scrub and fix. What a gift that is, isn’t it?

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A Prayer for the World — Harold Kushner

Let the rain come and
wash away
the ancient grudges,
the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over
Let the rain wash away
the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come
out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun
heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog
so that
we an see each other
Let the warmth and
of the sun melt our
So that we can share the
joys and
feel the sorrows of our
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will
see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished
by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with
And let the mountains
teach our hearts
to reach upward to
heaven.    Amen

One Shabbat, I read this poem by Rabbi Harold Kushner in our synagogue’s prayerbook, Siddur Lev Shalem. It is as timeless as it is beautiful.

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