In additon to being a sign of poor housekeeping, dust is usually an indication that something has been in one place for a while.
This epiphany struck me the other day in my classroom.
I was looking for a box with student work samples that was stored on a top shelf along with some other teacher miscellany. As I moved things around, I eventually knocked another box off the shelf whereupon it settled on the counter and sent dust plumes rising.
It was not what I was looking for, but it was what I found.
As soon as I noticed I got down and sat in a nearby chair and watched the dust work its way back down to the surface of the box and it got me thinking.
How long had that box been there?
Surely, it must have been some time because that much dust does not accumulate overnight.
Why had I not noticed that box before and where was the box I was actually looking for?
Seriously, how long had that box been on that shelf?
The implications were numerous. If I could not remember when I put that particular item on that paricular shelf and sufficient time had passed to collect a good layer air-born sediment, then clearly it and I have been here longer than I thought.
I live here.
I'll never be 'from' here, but this is where I now live. What else could explain the layer of dust on the item that fell? But there were also several other items put up out of arms reach that I was now noticing for the first time. When did I put them there? Have I been so busy living here that I did not notice that dust was collecting on me?
And so, for whatever reason this reality has come upon me, here is where I am. I enjoy the weather. The cold and rain are preferred to the climate of my SoCal homeland, though I admit, by the end of March I welcome the sun. I don't understand the people here and I imagine they don't understand me much either. As I have said before, I fell like an alien in my own country. I have chosen to see what positives I can. I only see 140 students a day as where before I was used to seeing 185. I do hate that there few sidewalks and there are too many two lane roads. There are so many stupid, backward and naive things about here that I dislike. However, the idea of returning to that rotting corpse that is California is even less appealing and a notion that fades more with each passing month.
It is not what I was looking for, but it is what I found.