Saturday, September 6, 2008
An English friend wrote: “Hanging out the washing reminded me of a blog that my friend Vikki did a while back, about the ‘clothes line.’ Do you remember helping out when you were a child? As a child, I can remember helping my Mum with the laundry.” My son-in-law received a Thank You note to “good neighbor Mike” for installing a clothes line for the lady next door. Just a couple of miles down a county road another friend was hanging out the wash on a new line her husband recently installed. Solar energy at its least expensive! There are other good reasons for hanging clothes, though I had forgotten them. Unless you’re hanging them from an apartment window, it is necessary to be outdoors. You know, that place where the sun is so bright, clouds drift by, birds sing, dogs bark. Remember that place? Clothes can’t be hung out at work; from a car; in a mall; at soccer games, nor baseball or football games. Not really at the beach, mountains or on most vacations. Nope. Clothes are hung out in our own backyards. Usually alone, with plenty of time to reflect on what they mean to us. A favorite shirt here, the need for some darning there, the snap of a sheet in the breeze. No drier sheet can match the fragrance of sheets and pillowcases that first night. Do your clothespins have a hinge or just a split of the middle? Are they plastic or wood? Do they make good dolls when used with a growing imagination. With our convenient appliances, we’ve lost experiences that are actually pleasurable. It is not a labor of work, but a labor of life, taking some time to be with ourselves. To allow our minds to wonder and think of things more slowly, more in depth, without interruption (for who offers to help?) Perhaps we’ve experienced a similar loss in our Christian lives. Perhaps we attend worship service on Sunday morning, but do we participate in Sunday School? Do we know the people sitting on the same pew? Do we return for evening services? Or is our church one that no longer holds them on holiday weekends? Do we leave Sunday morning feeling as we’ve met a weekly obligation? Is it only on Easter and Christmas that our shadow crosses into the sanctuary? Think on these things as you hang out your next wash. Now, there’s a thought, isn’t it?