sugar city guest: my mom, on the subject of pleasant labor
birds and breeze
alone in thought
turned down bed
ease between cool sheets
feel of fresh
scent of earth
The most over used appliance in our modern world, in my over wrought opinion, is the clothes dryer. I am an advocate of line drying under the bleaching aid of the sun and the drying agent of the breeze. But there is deeper meaning and value for me in quelling the impulse to throw the laundry from the washing machine into the dryer. Piling my laundry basket high with whites and escaping over the grass to the clothes line becomes MY time. Organizing, ordering and hanging my wash to dry is a creative task – an art form. Socks are pinned together here, sheets there, and under-garments are privately tucked away on the inside line.
Hanging clothes is the ultimate nature experience. The smell of newly washed laundry mingling with fresh outside air is a sensory high. Sun warms your skin. Listen closely and you hear the cooing of the Morning Dove or the chirping of the Chick-e-dee-dee-dee. Insects buzz around you A cob web has formed in the corner of the line. It is a oneness – a belonging in the middle of natural earth where Mother Nature once again works with us.
The reflective nature of the “hanging clothes” chore is probably the most profound for me. As I fulfill this pleasant labor, I always feel closeness to the women of my past. I think of the countless generations of women who have done this before. But often, I remember my mother. I think of her outside in most any weather humming to herself, making order in her laundry while the children inside wreak havoc. I can almost climb into her skin and feel for a moment that I am her and she is me. We are bonded together as mother and daughter and the space of time and place dissolves.
Hanging clothes is a simple act of womanly duty. Here is peace and order amid hectic lives and connection between our generations.