Mind Before Matter

The bird feeder sways back and forth from the branch still spotted with snow.

Saturated with spring thaw, the driveway holds footprints from this morning, from this afternoon, from the return home, like they were pressed in fresh concrete.

The recliner lays on its side on the porch, having been pushed out of the way one too many times this weekend and so resigning itself to a temporary home outside of the home.

Dog noses smudge the window up to about hip-height and are then replaced by hearts traced in the baited-breath of a wife waiting to open the door her husband.

A spray can of WD-40 casts a shadow on the Car and Driver magazine that serves as place mat on the dining room table. They are joined by a mask, an empty mug, a black and gold water bottle, a blue and grey volleyball, and another mask, and another mask, and another mask.

Everything is where you left it. Nothing is where it goes.

And by the end of this spring break, it would be the same. The swaying bird feeder would still be empty, the chair would still be temporarily toppled, the table would still be a catch-all.

Everything where you left it; nothing where it goes.

But some thing will be different. We’ll have to look more closely; we’ll have to look within.

The bags under your eyes will no longer have to be checked and stowed for safe passage, the frayed layers of your fingernails will be gradually growing out, the worry lines on your forehead will have surrendered to the shadows that shape your smile, and the weight of the world will have been weathered and wrung out.

Nothing will be as you left it. Everything will be where it goes.

Mind before matter.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy Ellerman says:

    Love this repeating line: “Everything where you left it; nothing where it goes.” Feels so lived in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lgrainger125 says:

    I really enjoyed this piece. The is a different rhythm to spring break as we hover between seasons and try to accomplish so much, but this year we need to attend to ourselves. You’re right it will change us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lvahey says:

    I’m so grateful for spring breaks when we can focus on “looking within” rather than a looming to-do list. And I just love the photograph, the WD40 right here with us.


  4. bbutler627 says:

    Oooooh that repetition is hauntingly beautiful. Really gives it that poetic oomph! And it’s just so honest of a statement. I can relate to this whole slice in that way but that ‘everything is where you left it / nothing where it goes’ is really sticking with me.

    Liked by 1 person

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