If you must…..

My mother kept house obsessively. In other words, she polished and swept and battered carpets and washed curtains every other month etc etc…..   No – I haven’t gone to the other extreme, I like a certain degree of tidy cleanliness, but today I am feeling a bit tired, so was delighted to come across this poem by someone who had presumably had obsessive-compulsive problems. It is a delight for a Day Off.


Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, the world’s out there,
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
The day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come, and it’s not kind,
And when you go, and go you must,
You yourself, will make more dust.

by Rachel Robinson

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