In Praise of the Clothesline

03 Sep
In Praise of the Clothesline

I wake up groggy to my 7:15 alarm in the dark back bedroom; my coffee habit has taken away my morning alertness, and the lack of morning light leaves my mind dim.  I wonder when I’ll have some unencumbered time to purge my system, restore the functioning of my adrenal glands.  I put on my wrap.  Anyone else up?  The dog jumps up from the bedroom floor where he’d been waiting, wags, smiles, and follows me out.  My seven-year old, always pleased to greet his first morning companion.  I love his slim, firm shape as I give him a morning hug, and again I commit to enjoy his littleness while it lasts.

I wake up the girls and my eldest son with a few gentle calls or a morning song, believing a sweet awaking is the best.

I refuse to answer any but the simplest question in my first half hour after waking—any attempts to get sense from me will end in frustration.  But I can do mechanical tasks—empty dishwasher, unlock gate, start a load of laundry.  I am drawn outside into the fresh, golden morning, in the back garden I listen to the birds and the sounds of people heading off to work and school while I take down and fold the laundry.

Working the clothesline is my favorite household chore.  It keeps me in touch with the seasons and the weather, and the sun and wind do most of the work.  I check the air, smell for rain or coming heat as I handle the slightly crisp, clean towels.  I remove items in order of the room they go to, and feel a comforting sense of order.  The cottons have absorbed the fragrance of a spray of night-blooming flowers that hang over the nearby fence.  I shake out an earwig, pick up and repair some pins, and take the load in for sorting by the kids.  When winter comes, it will be back to electrical drying.  Taking toasty, soft towels out of the dryer is another sort of pleasure.

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Places & Experiences


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