There is a small loose tile, about one inch square, on the floor in our bathroom. It has always been loose, ever since we moved into this house over ten years ago. Bare feet, still damp from the shower, tend to lift it up out of place. We just stick it back where it belongs. The thought was that some day we would redo the bathroom anyway, so we never fixed it. Usually it stays in its place.
And if you read my comics this week, you know that it is not typical for us to have something that stays in its place. That is because my family rarely stays in one place. The front door gets a lot of action over the course of a day. Shoes are a constant jumble by the kitchen door because they simply don't stay off for very long. There is always somewhere someone needs to be. Marina usually wins for most required trips between work and college classes, but I've also been making a lot of trips because of volunteer work I'm doing for the library book sale. This week, nature classes started at Cranberry Lake, so that added another few trips, since the class is snugged between Marina's art history course and her Thursday work schedule at the library. Let's not forget the weekly (lately it has been bi-weekly) trips to the grocery store. I'm sure I've worn ruts in the driveway from pulling in and out.
But that tile stays in its place. Usually. Sometimes it pops out, as if to remind me it is still there. I fit the small tile back in its place, and then I might try to clear a path to the front door, or pick up the clutter from tables and couches. I sweep the endless trail of dirt from the front door to the living room. How does that happen when they take off their shoes? I remind myself that this is what living is about. It's good to be doing things and going places. It's good that the kids are taking out the books and toys and using them, rather than have them sitting on the shelves collecting dust. And I'm thankful I have the energy to keep this homeschooling machine in motion. But I'm also glad to see that some things stay in their place, even if it is only one small tile.