Today I was reminded of the beauty and magic in the mundane. The very most mundane: dust. This was one of those rare (gift) days in which Luella just started talking to herself upon waking from her nap, rather than crying out for me. When I did slowly walk into her dark room, not really wanting to disturb her conversation, but missing her already, after 2 short hours apart, She wanted to keep playing in her crib. She was playing a cat-and-mouse game of running to the opposite edge as I tried to sweep the white-blonde strands of hair from her eyes and clip them up with her pink sparkly bow. As I pulled back the temporary window covering (a dark sheet until we find suitable blackout shades), and opened the blinds just a crack, a brilliant stream of light fell into her crib. As she continued to play, and sit back down in the corner, she suddenly exclaimed: "Bubbles! Bubbles!" Looking in the direction of her gaze, I saw nothing that I could understand to be bubbles. Until I realized she was enchanted with the tiny dust particles floating - suspended - in the stream of sunshine.
Oh, to be inside her pure, sweet mind, noticing dust for the very first time and seeing it as something magical and beautiful. Something to bring joy and delight. Something to be seen "Again! Again!" I found myself shaking blankets, stuffed toys, and smacking quilts to bring back the magical "bubbles." Noting, each time, that I should probably wash - or at least smack, shake - that particular item outside (and then vacuum). She began shaking her beloved bunny in an attempt to make it rain dust.
What world is this? The concept of judgement or assigning (a negative) meaning to such a thing as gathering dust...it doesn't exist for her, in this wonderful world of "first everythings." When does that creep in? How is it learned? She is still interpreting things purely, through observation and original joy. She is safe. Loved. It is (is it?) inevitable that the magic will fade. But why? How? She will become bored of it first. Seeking the next shiny new experience. Could it be because mom and dad tire of doing the same thing again and again (and pass along that message)? Or something else. Maybe far deeper. Innate. At some point, she might learn to associate the presence of dust with a need to clean, and cleaning with something unpleasant. Oh, how...if only...I could keep her from all the unpleasantness of this world. If we could only keep our babies safe and happy and trusting forever and ever. And also, I want to feel that same thrill of seeing bubbles where there is merely dust. In truth, the way the particles float gently through the air, generally only observed by crossing a radiant beam of sunshine...the otherworldly pace of each tiny speck's movement...as if we are all under water, or in a dream...
There is magic in it. Dust.
She also squeals with joy when I do vacuum (a testament to how infrequently I care to do so, though she's also started sweeping the floor for me...a testament to how frequently I insist upon swept floors) and begs for more. Perhaps I should tell her it will destroy all the bubbles. And I wonder what other extraordinary mysteries can be found in my un-spotless home? I have so much to learn from her.