Grandmotherly Urgings

Ever since turning 53 (is that a thing?) or maybe since beginning the trek toward menopause (99 days!), I have an incredibly low tolerance for bullshit (is that what it is?) and something else–an inexplicable urge to tidy, mainly public spaces, specifically bathrooms.


I don’t want to pick up toilet paper, or wipe down sinks (or seats!) but I can’t help myself. (Even Porta-Potties!) Maybe it’s a grandmotherly thing.

Which could explain why I wouldn’t leave the beach path after my sunrise walk until I found every last piece of glass (that miraculously, I walked through barefoot without getting a sliver), and how every time I set to go, I thought of the tender foot of a small child, or the calloused foot of a stranger, or even the foot belonging to the one who left the broken pieces here. even her. or him. or them.

But I didn’t have a vacuum, and I was sure there would be glass left behind.

And what of all the other paths that line this 5 mile long beach?

Would I check them too?


I will check this path–my path–as well as I’m willing, in this moment, and then I will let go, knowing that if a child steps on glass, she or he or they will be less likely to ever leave behind something that will hurt others.

(But first I circle back to the path one more time.)


One comment

  1. Ohhhh, I experienced a trauma years ago. I prayed, and could not understand why I was subjected to the trauma; I was a good person, a nice person, I looked out for others. . . and I picked up all the loose toilet paper in that restaurant bathroom where I had my prayerful episode. 7 years later, I still feel it is my obligation to pick up all paper in public stalls I enter to fully appreciate the gift I was given that day. It most likely will be a life long service, and I am now at peace with my complusion.


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