notes from the dunes


I look around my house and see toys strewn on the floor, dust gathered in corners, dirty dishes waiting to be washed. There are bills that need paying and emails requiring replies. Papers that need sorting and stacks of boxes in my attic and basement that need to be, I don't know... thrown out? Put somewhere else? Today it all seems more overwhelming than usual.

I read a book many years ago, The Woman in the Dunes, and while my memory of it is hazy, the allegory has stayed with me. Two people are living trapped at the bottom of a giant sand dune. They spend every day digging out their home so that it isn't buried in sand. There is no escaping. They have to spend most of their waking hours digging. While there are struggles and attempts to escape, there is also contentment found in the daily ritual, in accepting their roles. It's a simple life.

Some days more than others, I feel like a woman in the dunes. There is no glory to be found in sweeping up cobwebs or cleaning the bathtub. No fame will be won when the laundry pile is a little less huge than it was the day before. There are no pretty pictures at the end to post on instagram.

But today, I need to focus on digging. Not because I might find something shiny, but because there is peace to be found in hard work. Because digging is life.