it's the reason my basement is cluttered. why the little shelf above my closet is crammed. why every drawer in our home is filled to capacity. i hold onto things in secret. under beds and behind desks. but, at the same time, i have this irrational idea that one day martha stewart or oprah or someone might stop by our little cottage, so i can't leave until every dish is dried and put away. every pile straightened. every magazine rolled up into the wine rack in our bathroom.
it's a crazy thing, this chaotic order. that in the same space, within the same whitewashed walls, there co-exists an enormous pile of assorted greeting cards and a freshly washed counter that smells of lemon.
but i hold onto other things as well. things that can't be cleaned out when the next yard sale comes into town.
things like hurts. and worries. and fears. stories on the news. doubts and insecurities. hidden by a new high-waisted skirt. fresh cut bangs. and new lipstick. just as my office drawer is laden, absolutely laden, with old folders, so i store things inside. and so i mask them.
but i've got a little tree outside my bedroom window, and at night its branches are illuminated by the shed light. and from my bed, i can see the outline of leaves. it's become my worry tree. when everyone's asleep and sometimes when they're not, i hold my hand against the blind and send my worries out to it. into Heaven. into the hands of the only one that can make any order whatsoever of it.
and then, before lifting my fingertips
i leave it there.