April 20, 2020. Sweeping as Therapy

Who knew?

My morning routine, such as it is here in the COVID19 era, involves taking a broom and sweeping the driveway. 

In case you don’t live in Yucatan and don’t know, we are at the height of our dry season and many trees are popping seed pods off by the thousands in preparation for the rains that will soon come. Nature is smart that way. 

Each morning finds our treed driveway littered with hundreds of cracked open seed pods, their contents strewn randomly and wastefully all over the concrete. These pods are dry and have the consistency of hard plastic. Stepping on them results in a satisfying crunch that will make you jump in anticpation to the next step, just to crunch every pod you can, like a six year old stomping in a puddle. The satisfaction is similar to that achieved when you take that piece of bubble wrap and pop all those delicious bubbles. Step on these hard shells with bare feet however, and you will be reminded of that time you stepped on your kids/cousins/brothers/sisters lego in the middle of the night. Ouch.

But, once again I digress.

The morning sweep with the headphones on comes after the morning walk and the morning coffee enjoyed by the morning fire. There is a certain satisfaction moving that broom back and forth, hypnotically watching the seeds, leaves and dirt accumulate, while listening to Bill Maher trying to be funny from his backyard and without an audience, or the New York Times Michael Barbaro emphatically interjecting yet another “HMM” during an interview with an enthusiasm usually reserved for Mayan mestizas during a particularly juicy piece of gossip.

Once the sweeping is finished, it’s back to the morning coffee and attending to pressing decisions about what to cook for the day’s lunch, whether or not it’s garbage day, washing whites or colors, or any number of mundane tasks that could be undertaken to take my mind off the fact that this situation is dragging on and on (and on) and I have no legit means of income and what will happen when my meager savings are used up and my credit cards limits have been saturated…

Where’s that broom? 


9 thoughts on “April 20, 2020. Sweeping as Therapy

  1. dear William: the postcovid 19 situation is a puzzle now.
    Meanwhile, doing homework you didn’t do before has its own meaning and its own value. Keep in mind that if you were not in this situation someone would have to sweep the entrance of your house, clean and wash clothes and cook.
    Now you work for home and save the money to pay to someone else to do it. You’re contributing to domestic economy.
    You are a househusband now.
    Me too. XD XD

  2. Hola Ralf. Greetings from the temperate zone. Funny we should have the same challenges 4291 kilometres apart. We have had a relatively dry winter and over the last few days (until today) we have had sun and 15-17 C weather.
    Our jack pine (unusual for this area) spent the last week shedding its previous year’s pine cones, tons of dry needles and tons of yellow pollen to bathe this year’s pine cone crop. On a hotter day, if you listen carefully you can here the old pine cones popping and releasing very small black seeds. It is quite a mess. Alas it is raining today, 9 degrees C and sweeping will have to wait.

  3. Hola! Yes, that popping sound we have also! And there is a sticky resin being shed (shed?) as well by said tree, which makes sweeping with bare feet a little problematic when you come back inside with black soles… Thanks for reading and commenting! I WISH we had just a smidgen of those 9 degrees now. We have 39 degrees here.

  4. The new normal I am loving is the peace and quiet. No booming trucks on the highway, no screeching commentary from the baseball ground at the weekend, and no flights ruining the sunset ….only the chachalacas to wake me up now.

    The rest of the weirdness I could do without. Looking forwards to your next e-pistle

  5. Thanks for checking in. If I get reader feedback it motivates me to keep writing! Nothing worse than dumping your thoughts into a black void. Speaking of weird… have you heard the hum? That sound like a jet overhead when there is in fact, no such jet up there?

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