Major housecleaning today. We started with the refrigerator, throwing out past expiration date bottles of salsa, various cooking sauces, and pieces of cheese that had transformed themselves into stone (and actually looked like it too). We chipped away at the stalactites and stalagmites in the refrigerator since the last cleaning.
Then we moved on to the pantry, reorganizing shelves, discovering we had much more pasta than we remembered ever buying. (Guess what we’ll be eating this week.) We also realized we won’t be needing to buy aluminum foil any time soon.
We took a deep breath and decided to tackle the shelves above the sink, the place where all our teas and hot chocolates reside, the place where many of my holiday gifts from students nest. There was lots to weed out, consolidate, and get surprised about, including those teas we bought in Japan, for example. I also found one of my favorite coffee cups, an old diner ceramic one with art deco designs, stashed behind the genmai cha.
The herbs have been hanging in the stairway to the basement since last summer. We bump into them a lot causing an oregano and mint rain to fall on our heads when we carry laundry up or down. We got the jars out and bottled the herbs. The smell was heady and hinted at the summer to come.
Cleaning is actually a meditative process, especially if your refrigerator has those gooey mysterious substances that take a lot of elbow grease and time to dislodge, especially when the detritus from the garden harvest is nested in the nooks and crannies of the basement stairs. Cleaning helps to soften my sharp edges and bumps and ego. JB and I worked together on this cleaning project- washing, wiping, scrubbing, sweeping and a few of those languishing issues between us began to loosen too.
This is the season of Passover, the time when we are to rid our homes of chametz, literally leavened foods, but this is also the time to examine the chametz inside, the parts of self that have become cluttered, overblown, out of proportion, narcissistic. I already feel a lot lighter.