In the spring, when mud is everywhere, it is not uncommon for rear windows to look like peepholes. Numerous Jeep-style vehicles may even be coated from tip to tip in mud, as mud bogging is the sport of rednecks of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Since moving to one of Canada's prairie provinces, I have become acquainted with a new kind of obstructed windshield: it's dust-covered. No moisture is required for the dust to stick - it just does. A full week between windshield washes is unheard of in the heat of summer, as the dust buildup is exceeded only by the volume of dead insects accumulated.
Road dust here is used for some pretty creative graffiti. Although I haven't yet experienced a butt print as pictured below, I have been the victim of any number of words, phrases, names, gestures and genitalia.
Pulling up to the pumps at the local full-serve station this weekend, I was greeted by the usual litany of questions:
"Are we filling it today?"
"Yes please - with regular."
"Sure thing! You wanna roll your windows up and we'll give 'em a little swipe for ya?"
Now, I know this lady fairly well. She once covered my Timmies order when the zipper on my wallet refused to move, holding my money hostage, citing the fact that she knew I would come good for it. I know that she only hires students who participate in sports teams, because she believes in work ethic. So I thought I'd slip in a little humor.
"Listen," I responded, "as a middle-aged woman who may *actually* die of heat stroke, I'm willing to look past the dirt if you are!"
We both chuckled, but my heart was instantly awakened to my own words. "I'm willing to look past the dirt ..."
Isn't it funny how willing we are to do something physically demanding, but struggle to do the same emotional task?
I can live with peering at the beautiful scenery through a layer of dirt. Pass a person in front of me who has hurt my feelings or made poor choices in life, though. Am I still looking past the deposits of debris to see their beauty?
I will sacrifice vision for comfort, when I am actually called to do just the opposite! We are all called to step out of our comfort zones before we can truly follow the road before us.
I am tired of gathering dust and merely looking past it. I am going for the clearer vision of life. I know that I will lose some "graffiti" in the process: some drawn on my life by skilled hands, and other trashy pieces deposited on me at random. But when the view is clear, I can see the best in myself, in others, and in the days/years to come.
Join me in cleaning the windshield this week! Leave a comment below to share what the idea of looking past the dirt has meant to you.