Updated on June 23, 2017
As we head into another spring weekend, tell me: Are you happy with your home? Is it clean, cozy, and inviting? Is it spotless?
I could spend hours cleaning my home, making things “perfect” in case someone visits. But you know what? People don’t care if my home shines or not, as long as they feel welcome.
A great poem is circulating online – an invitation to stop cleaning, at least for now, and do something else instead. Sound good? Then take a moment to read some poetry, and let it inspire your day.
Dust if You Must: A Poem
“Dust if You Must” is a poem by Rose Milligan. As you read it, think of ways to find balance in your everyday life – a happy balance between housework and home life. Then share your ideas in the comments.
“Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?
“Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
“Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.
“Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go – and go you must –
You, yourself, will make more dust.”
The Poet and The Lady
Blogs and other social media quote “Dust if You Must” as inspirational poetry. Some sites credit the poem to Anonymous or Unknown Author. Others, like this Tumblr blog, cite Milligan as the poet.
There is little information about Milligan online. From my limited research, I learned she is from Lancashire, a maritime county in North West England.
Her poem appeared in the 21st edition of The Lady weekly, a magazine “for elegant women with elegant minds.” That was September 15, 1998.
The Lady has been in continuous publication since 1885 – more than a century now. It is “widely respected as England’s longest running weekly magazine for women.”
The magazine is notable for its classified advertisements for child care, domestic service, and holiday properties. Each issue features commentary, reviews, beauty tips, fashion news, food ideas, gardening tips, and more.
Interested in a subscription? Amazon sells the Kindle edition for your digital e-reader, PC, phone, or tablet. If you buy now, you’ll save 49% off the cover price.
Must You Dust?
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that savoring home involves making a home. But it’s not about keeping it spotless. Housecleaning plays a part, but only a part.
Savoring home is about loving your home – the people, the place, and the everyday life you’re called to. There is beauty in your daily world, but you have to slow down to see it.
So dust if you must, but remember: The world’s “out there.” Make time to explore it. Read a book, call a friend, walk in the sunshine. Take a little trip, if only in your imagination.
Life is short, so make the most of your moments.
The dusting can wait.
Over to You
Now it’s YOUR turn to chime in. How much time do you spend on dusting and cleaning your home? What activity could you be doing instead?
I’d love to hear about the beauty in YOUR everyday world. Let’s fill the comments with friendly conversation. Scroll down to leave a reply, ask a question, or just say hello.
And if you liked this article, give it a share.
Annette R. Smith
Resources and Credits
Copyright © 2017 Savoring Home. All rights reserved.