Dust if you must


If this is your copyright, I apologise for using it.  Please let me know.

I have no doubt you have heard of our earthquake.  7.7 on The Richter Scale – yes, it was a big one.  While we celebrate the fact that only one death was directly attributable to the earthquake, that of a man who was killed when a historic homestead collapsed and a woman who died of a heart attack; we mourn for the two lives lost. The man’s 100-year-old mother survived.

And those of us affected by minor damage in our houses try to get back some sense of normalcy into our lives.  Added to the damage caused to roads and buildings, has been the torrential rain that we have experienced since the quake.  Many buildings in Wellington’s Central Business District have been damaged, shops, offices and schools are closed while the result of damage to the properties is evaluated.

But down south at and near the epicentre things are so much worse.  Some places are cut off entirely as roads are impassable.

It is at times such as this when we thank the powers that be for our being unhurt by a disaster of this magnitude that we take stock of our lives once again.

Shirley Conran told us that Life is too Short to Stuff a Mushroom” but this poem by Rose Milligan says it for me:

“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 and 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.”

Wikipedia tells me it was originally published in 1998 in “The Lady” Britain’s longest-running weekly women’s magazine. It has been in continuous publication since 1885 and is based in London.

So dust if you must, or stuff a mushroom but for me, this has been yet another wake-up call.  So I’m off to see what other adventures await me.

Godwits en route



20 responses to “Dust if you must

  1. I was thrilled to see your post coming up. We were away for five days, but I was aware there was a bad earthquake. I didn’t know where you lived or where the epicenter was. How thankful I am that you are OK!


    • Thank you, Anne. My family are all fine; little or no damage to us or our properties but not so some friends who live on the waterfront in Wellington. Majo damage, not to the buildings but o heir belongings.


  2. I’m sorry for the lives that were lost but delighted there weren’t more and that you weren’t hurt. Now I’m even more pleased to read that you’ve taken to having adventures instead of dusting. Life is too short to spend time moving dust from one place to another.
    Enjoy yourself.
    xxx Massive Hugs Judith xxx


    • Never have done much dusting David. Yes, we, my family, are all well and have survived the quake and the thousand plus aftershocks. Hugs back to you from a shakey NZ


  3. Lovely reminder to live fully.


  4. Absolutely – my sentiments entirely. Relieved that you are OK, but very sorry for all the upset and damage. Big hugs x


  5. I’ve been worried about you since the news of the earthquake came on the news, I’m so glad you’re okay…and sorry for all the loss and devastation. Perfect poem, in answer to it!


  6. I, too, was so happy to see your post! Thanks for the positive advice on how to live each day! Thinking of you!


  7. Enjoy your adventures!


  8. I am so glad to see your post and know that you are OK. Love the poem and agree that dusting is not always that important. Yesterday I went to the funeral of a high school classmate and it reminded me to cherish each day and perhaps pursue and adventure as you do. Cheers!


  9. Sounds like an excellent idea, Judith. 🙂 Love the poem and Mother Nature certainly seems to be on the warpath just lately.


  10. Live your life! Although, I must admit, I must do the dusting today! Best Wishes


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