This morning, I swept the paving stones, the ones that lead from our driveway to the front door to the garden and to the street. Please. Hold your applause.

It might not sound like much. Even though there are 130 of them. And maybe more, still buried under the weight of windblown dirt, leaves and needles. Who knows? I can’t recall the last time anyone swept them.

In any case, the stones are small, and the great deed occupied only twenty minutes of my day. But it meant all the world to me. It reminded me that there’s something I can do today that will make a difference. A difference in the appearance of the walk, in the surety of someone’s step, and….in how I feel about myself.

Because earlier, I’d been lying in bed wondering if I possessed the will to arise. To face another day of smoke-filled skies and acrid aromas wafting in from the nearest forest fire. Of despairing the nonstop tirade of bald-faced lies told by heartless politicians. Of deploring the senseless murder of another person of color. Of bemoaning that my college-age kids can’t go back to their respective campuses, those “perfect places” we’d worked so hard to identify for each of them.

The weight of all the ills of the world buried me deep into the mountain of bedding I’d amassed in the nightmares of my sleep. Only the lure of a pumpkin spice latte got me moving. ‘Tis the season, and I employ whatever the bribery it takes on days like these.

One slog led to another, and I found myself out in the yard with a broom. Sweeping like the madwoman that I truly am. As if whisking away the dirt, leaves and pine needles could somehow result in sweeping away the madness of the world.

I can’t see that it did, though I’m not ready to read the latest news to find out. But it sure was therapeutic. And when I was done, I paused to admire my accomplishment.

“My path is now clear,” came a random thought, and I recoiled at the revelation. Just this morning I was certain there was no path before me at all.

I may not know where I or any of us are headed in these most extraordinary times. But I feel heartened to see this clear path before me —one that I can only see if only I’m showing up, listening to divine guidance, doing the work, and giving Life my full attention.

One foot in front of the other. . . careful not to spill the beloved PSL.

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