A couple of days ago I was vacuuming, and things just weren’t being sucked up like they should have been. I had a whole lot of little wood stove debris to remove from my living-room so I flipped it over to locate the source of the problem.

First thing I noticed was all those random threads wrapped around the beater bar. I tried sticking my fingers in there to see if there was anything. They went in a lot easier then they came out. For just a moment I thought I would have to carry the whole mess to the garage for a screwdriver. One final, slightly painful tug and my fingers were free, no clog there. I removed the canister, and there was a large splinter holding back a 3″ assortment of dust and who knows what from my floors. Once that was removed I returned to cleaning and never gave it another thought.

This morning I had to remove ash from the wood stove, we’d been burning a few days and it was so deep we could hardly fit more wood in there. I made a mess, and so I needed to vacuum again. Later, as I looked at the bench next to the stove, I thought about vacuuming it too, it probably has wood stove dust on it. But, I was eating oatmeal at the time, and so my mind wandered to other things.

You know, we never look at the bottom of the vacuum cleaner, unless there is a problem. After all, the vacuum cleaner is dirty, and it belongs ‘in the dust.’

I think sometimes we never truly look at and see other people we consider below us, those who we think live ‘in the dust’ so to say. Unless there is a problem.

I thought to myself, Ouch!

But I believe there is a truth here. ‘Dust’ could be any sort of difference; from physical appearance, like my purple hair, tattoo or piercings, to lifestyle and choices, to economic status. But, in the end, we need to try to see the things we have in common with other people, find the places we can love them rather than focusing on a mote of dust that separates us.