In the last week or two, I’ve been cleaning out and fixing up my childhood home so that we could turn that into our office for the new home health my parents are starting, and I’ve basically been fighting Operation War on Spiders (and other miscellaneous creepy crawlies). In any case, the building is basically more trouble than it’s worth at this point. There’s a huge tree in the front yard immediately in front of the house whose roots have been growing to the point of basically destroying the foundation. And with the destruction of this foundation, the house is showing visible signs of strain both inside and out: the walls are cracking and or literally coming apart at the seams; the floorboards are also beginning to separate from each other, exposing the cracks beneath; and the floor is largely uneven. Not to mention that with a prior storm (maybe hurricane, I don’t remember anymore), the chimney had been destroyed. And then yesterday we found problems with the plumbing.
In any case, last week I spent cleaning the 3 bedrooms and the living room/dining area. This included vacuuming up ever single freaking spider in sight and shoving the hose of the vacuum in crevices so that I could try to get the ones that weren’t. Yet every single morning, I would come back, and there would be new spiderwebs all over the rooms I just cleaned. It’s been incredibly irritating to say the least. In any case, we’re just patching up the house just so we can have it presentable for now until we get the money to demolish and rebuild.
Now I give all this back story because in looking at this situation and the current state that I’m in, I found a strange sense of symbolism in all of this. One of my latest spiritual breakthroughs was on the silent retreat that just happened a few weeks ago. And on this retreat, I found solace, security, and a really close connection to God under a large tree. Now at a time in which I am making an internal transition, I find it interesting that a large tree is destroying the house I grew up in, a place I used to call home.
That house holds years of childhood memories. More importantly, it symbolizes all of the attachments I have in my own self; i.e., all of the things holding me back from becoming a real man, the man I want to be. And before what I say gets misconstrued as me writing off the house as a symbol of all that is bad and evil in my life, that is not what I am saying at all. A lot of happiness happened in that house. A lot of pain happened in that house. LIFE happened in that house. Just like I have experienced a lot of happiness and a lot of pain as I’ve lived my relatively short life thus far. However, just as the house is being broken at the seams by the tree, the spiritual growth I am in the process of experiencing is beginning to break down the securities I have created for myself and used as a foundation. While this worked for a while, it is time to move on.
Now for another part of the analogy, the insect infestation. So the weakness of the material of the house has allowed the seal from the outside to be compromised with the breaking up of the foundation. So insects have found their way into the house, most significantly spiders. And with each cleaning, I would vacuum up webs, but the next morning, new ones would appear. Just as in this time, while I’m still making a sort of emotional and spiritual transition, the infestation of my own vices tend to build new webs for me to get caught up in even when I try to clean them up. My own weakness as a human being allows me to succumb to these despite my best efforts…er…best intentions, rather. Because most of the time that I cave in to these desires, it is out of spiritual laziness when I know what’s right and wrong, but still go through with it anyway. Which reminds me, I do need to go back to reconciliation to have a sort of spiritual extermination done and get myself back to good.
In any case, one thing that’s been bothering me lately is the fact that withing a month of that silent retreat being over, I found myself beginning to fall back into the old vices that kept hold of me. And as the continual appearance of spiderwebs has been frustrating on the home improvement front, the continual temptation of old habits has been just as frustrating.
But I guess just as renovating a home is no small feat, neither is renovating yourself. Then again, nobody said it would be easy; they just said it would be worth it.