March 1, 2010

Dust in the Wind

Let’s talk dirt. Here in Santa Rosalia we have lots of it. Water is scarce and so therefore are lawns, instead we have: sand, dirt, rocks, cactuses and trees that people have planted. When the wind blows, as it as for the last 6 days, so does the dust (but not the cactuses). It is like having a sandstorm everyday. The sea becomes covered with whitecaps, but that doesn’t diminish the dust blowing around town any.
You see in the photo our fine house is surrounded by dirt as are all the other homes in Santa Rosalia.

This dust comes in the house under the windows and the doors and settles on everything. It gathers in pools on the floor at both sides of the door where the edges are. It tracks across the floor leaving dusty footprints. (We have learned to take our shoes off when we come inside the house). It coats the outside of the house and the windows, impregnates window sills, puddles on the porch and stains the white cotton hammock hanging on the porch a soft gray. If it were snow, we would say, ‘oh how pretty.’ But, no one ever says that about dust.

It means that every day I have to vacuum, some times twice a day, not to mention dusting all the furniture. One of the biggggg mistakes I made was buying a glass top coffee table. Every day when the sun moves across the room to where the table stands a visible layer of dust becomes evident, more so than on the wooden furniture. So everyday it has to be dusted. I now appreciate even more my Mother’s story about how my grandmother, who moved to the arid desert of New Mexico in 1907 from the damp and wooded vales of Washington State, bemoaned the dust that filled her house when the wind blew. In wet places where grass grows the wind doesn’t carry the dust around like this. Is this what we mean by the sins of the fathers (or in this case the grandmother) are visited on the children? Do we subconsciously choose to repeat the toil of the lives that have come before us in some mysterious way?

No comments: