Today I swept the yard early. It had just rained the night before. More bright yellow leaves from the star fruit tree behind our house have fallen with the water, and the wet sandy path around the house is sprinkled with purple jacaranda flowers and neem leaves. The familiar tropical scent when it rains fills me up with joy.

The sound of sweeping is the first thing that you hear early in the mornings in India. It is like a sacred movement of energy, putting one's life into order, and setting things straight for the rest of the day. My coconut leaf spine broom rhythmically scratches the soil as a hen scratches for worms and bugs.

I am reminded of my mother-in-law Amma, who, even on the day before she went home to God, swept the same paths and the sides of the house. She worked so hard keep this house clean, to maintain order and freshness. She was such a strong woman, devout in her faith and belief in God. “Simple and humble. That is the good way,” she'd tell me with conviction in her eyes.

Today I smile at her. This is how we live. Simply. My “to do” list is long. I have been doing a lot of organizing here in the house, since my return from the west. On top of daily maintenance, I have to “scratch” away at other things that need attention, such as organizing shelves, clothing, and the office, building and maintaining websites. Today I shall make fresh star fruit juice after completing most of my tasks. This is my reward for keeping it simple and humble.