It is laundry day for me, and only me. I have a pile of clothes that need to be washed sans machine, and we finally are getting a reliable sunshine again after so many days of humidity and clouds.
There’s something calming in the simple ritual of breaking out my laundry pod, my soap nuts, and my clothes pins. It’s not an activity that requires much thought, just a lather rinse repeat kind of task. The laundry pod makes it a physical activity; all that spinning and agitating occurs as a result of my arms doing the work.
It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve taken a lot of pleasure in the physical activities. We’ve raked all the leaves in the yard and added them to the compost heap so that Mr B could spread some grass seed on the long-neglected lawn. Sunshine cleaned up most of his pile of masonry equipment and supplies that have been sitting in the front yard for months waiting on Mr B to make some decisions about the flagstone patio he says he wants to put in front of the house. These are tasks that leave me proper tired at the end of the day, and there’s something to be said for that.
When I spend time in these types of physical tasks, I feel more connected to my surroundings. I become invested in them.
Like my clothes. I seem to value them more when I actually have to put in some physical effort to keep them clean and prevent them from becoming damaged by the traditional western methods of doing laundry. When I value the pieces I already own, I am less likely to go out and buy some shit to “freshen up my wardrobe” (and therefore contribute to a grossly consumerist system that takes advantages of citizens of poor countries).
Like my food. I feel more interested in the stuff I put in my mouth when I have been involved in growing the squash, or butchering the wild pig… When I am invested in the food I eat, I am much less likely to go buy some chemical preservative laden twinkies (and therefore contribute to a grossly consumerist system that attempts to make me feel uncool for not eating the hot new food trend of the week).
Like my relationships. When I spend time working with others toward a common goal, I feel more connected to those people. There’s something to be said for getting dirty, sweaty, and smelly together. Like, if we can love each other and have fun together when we’re all covered in dirt and sweat and body odor–then we can say that we truly love each other. When I have meaningful connections to the people around me, I am so much less likely to feel anything is missing in my life (which makes me less likely to go shopping to fill the empty spot in my heart).
Today, I am appreciating laundry day for exactly what it is to me: a simple pleasure that keeps me connected to what matters to me.