Around this time of year when the brown grass doesn’t look so brown, when green sprouts appear that will soon be yellow daffodils, red tulips, white hyacinths, when blue bells ring, and when lilies of the valley perfume the yard, Mom would shoo my sister and me outside with a declaration, “Go outside and play, and don’t come in until I tell you to.” That meant she was getting into spring-cleaning. I was happy to be outside. It meant I didn’t have to: crawl under the kitchen table and clean the legs, take a rag full of Jubilee to polish the white refrigerator, or remove ice from the freezer section of the refrigerator after Mom let some boiling water loosen it.
I’d leave my sister in the yard to sulk over not being allowed back inside and go to find hidden treasures. My favorite spot was the junk pile in our pasture. Trash that couldn’t be burned was dumped in this little gully made by a stream. It was stuff from our house, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents, things that John, the handyman, could no longer repair, sofa’s whose springs had given out or the fabric ripped beyond repair, and things that were just not wanted anymore. Much to my mother’s irritation, I’d always find something of value: rusted metal bookends, a portable radio. Once I even found a rocking horse. It only had a small crack in one of rockers.
This Easter I’m reminded of my junk pile. I often put God out with the junk because belief is outdated, old, or just not the fashion anymore. I’m going to search through that junk pile and pull out some valuable keepsakes.