I love hanging out the laundry in the nice weather.
It's not just an excuse to get some fresh air and sunshine, it's good for me. The simple pleasure I take from it gives me a time out from all the other matters that want my attention and helps integrate me.
Sometimes we split ourselves up into bits. Too much thinking, too much emotion, too much well, whatever, and we need to reassemble the bits again to find out where we really are and what we really are doing.
Hanging laundry on a warm summer day does it for me. It's a feast for the senses: the contrast between the cool wet textures of the fabrics, the warm cinnamon scent of cedar bark and the drowsy sweetness of ripening apples, the quiet clicking of a wren, the steady hum of bees, the radiance of the colours and the sky.
I wouldn't feel the blessing in such a simple pleasure if I was mentally writing my next article or nursing a grudge against that fellow who cut me off in traffic. Taking unashamed physical joy in the activity gives me the space to bring body, emotions, mind and soul together.
I never apologize for sitting outside to eat lunch, or for stopping at the side of the road to skip stones in a creek. Not everyone might agree that getting up at 3 am to watch for shooting stars is a valuable way to spend time, but I know better. Where else than under a starry night can I know that I am a part of something timeless?
I love hanging out the laundry in the nice weather. Simple pleasures like this make me feel more whole.
First published September 2008 in my free monthly email newsletter, Starry Night. Sign up here.