There’s a giant mulching machine parked outside my house, and the lovely smiling woman who operates it has invited me to bring the debris that has been clogging the air ducts of my home to her. She is beyond kind and understanding. You can leave it here, she tells me, we’ll mulch it, there is nothing that can’t be mulched, and you can use it to fill and cover that giant hole you keep falling into. And maybe with time, it’ll fill in enough to hold and nourish and keep moist some flowers and a nice little shade tree.
So I try it out, and little by little, the rooms of my house are being fed fresh air again. I’ve been building some new muscle too, carrying the debris out there.
Sometimes the short-term result of exposure to the pretty potent dust being stirred up has been deep, deep aching and swollen red eyes in the morning. Some of my dear friends have thought perhaps the debris, whatever its nature, better left in the ducts. But though it’s potent in the mulching process, it is all organic material, and perhaps not as potent as it might initially seem? Perhaps even less potent than left in the ducts? And besides, where would I live once all the fresh air has been cut off, and how will I ever have a party again without fresh air and heat flowing to all the rooms of my house?
When the ducts have been cleared and the mulching machine has moved on and the aching has receded I will water and enjoy the shade tree. I will enjoy the fresh air inside too, and perhaps have a party. And I will savour the image and words of the lovely woman who invited my offerings of ancient duct-blocking debris. She will remain forever etched in my memory as beautiful.