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Sweeping away my acne, one step at a time.

A long paved road wound its way up to the large wooden swinging gates of our little farm where I grew up on the east coast of Scotland.

Beyond the gates, our yard was gravel and very often full of goosegrass and creeping thistle. I hated removing these weeds, but I loved sweeping the stones from our drive, back into our yard. The gravel, scattered across the drive, reminded me of my spotty adolescent face. Maybe if I cleared the drive of rocks, I’d clear my skin of spots. 

I would always start with only the intention of sweeping the very top of the drive, adjacent to the gate. Afterwards, I would look back at the smooth, gravel-free driveway I’d created and compared it to the rest of the road leading up to it. I had more work to do.

I’d sweep a little more, just a few more metres. It looked good. Then I’d clean another few metres and look back at my work. This continued until I’d spent the whole Saturday afternoon cleaning the entire 100-metre drive up to our home.

I never set out to clear the whole length. I just did it a few metres at a time. I enjoyed the work, and it was important to me to make an excellent job of it.

Two Saturdays later, I’d be back sweeping the drive. That gravel was determined to escape our yard.

Try not to think of the whole driveway at once. Only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next sweep of the broom, and the next, and the next—nothing else.

Before you know it, you’ve swept the whole driveway clean, bit by bit. What’s more, you aren’t out of breath. And that’s important too.

By David P. MacGregor

Living and working the good life in France with my wife and dog.