What our doormats see and hear
Just a doormat. Is it really? If we look more closely, it’s the little scenes of the lives we live. Soles, heels and bare feet step on our doormats. It’s where you walk, it’s where the people you meet walk, all generations, all phases of life.
When we shake our mats clean, we shake off more than just sand and pebbles. We shake off experiences and a life lived. We stamp off the weather and moods on them. Snow from a perfect ski trip, the day everything worked out and there was no stopping us. Slush from a winter walk when you took a tumble and your mobile bore the brunt. Grains of sand from a trip to the beach that ended in flirtation and a salty kiss. Autumn leaves from a brisk walk on wet pavements. Our doormats see us shuffle over them tired, with mail and far too many bills in our hands. We tiptoe in as light as a feather with good news. A new job maybe, or a “B” on your last test. A cry of joy at the news that you’ll be hearing the patter of tiny feet in a few months.
There are other times too. Sometimes we are standing on the mats with our heads bowed, full of sorrow because we have news about something that leaves us with a heavy heart.
We lose someone.
Then we meet someone! And we go up the stairs weighed down with our cardboard boxes because we’ve met “the right one”, or maybe suddenly the right one has become the wrong one, and we have to leave with those same boxes again much earlier than we had intended.
And then suddenly everything falls into place, and we continue to roll in through the same door and over the same mat year after year after year. You and your mat live intertwined lives. You may see feet that are similar to yours grow bigger on the doormat. And you cross your fingers, hoping that most of their steps will be easy ones.
Just a doormat. Is it really? Isn’t it also the textile equivalent of a hello and welcome? For family, friends, colleagues, lovers, kids, spouses. Cats and dogs. In heat and not. Probably some workmen. Hopefully not too many! They’re useful when things go wrong, but too many electricians and plumbers on your doormat is seldom a good sign. Flowers, confetti and red wine of a good vintage are better. Not too much stress because we have overslept; not too much of a snail’s pace because of influenza. We and our mats can easily do without that. It’s better to be convulsed with laughter with a friend by the entrance and exit to you and yours. Or trembling with excitement next to a suitcase that will be travelling to the place you have dreamed of visiting. For a long time. And we often have to go away to then return home and realise what and who we have missed.
This is what they hear. This is what they see. The doormats. Our lives.
And along the way we have something in common. We need looking after, we need care, we need to shake off the dust. We need someone who thinks we look smart. But it’s just a door mat. Is it really?