I never thought it possible: I have come to love doing laundry. Hanging our clothes on the line is so calming, it’s almost meditative. I stand there in the sun, listening to the birds sing, humming to myself or perhaps singing a little song to baby Robin, who sits in the shade of our Tennessee Cigar tree in his bouncy seat and watches me work. From this particular place in our yard – the laundry area – I can’t really see much but the field, the trees, and the side of the house. I feel like I’m all alone in the world when I’m hanging my laundry, and I love it.
I never thought I’d find such pleasure in domestic tasks. I used to hate doing laundry and avoided it until the kids had nothing left to wear and every basket in the house was overflowing with dirty clothes. Then I’d grumble to myself as I trudged up and down the stairs, abhorring every moment of this chore. Now, I find myself wanting to do laundry on a daily basis, and grumble only that there’s not enough dirty clothes to justify throwing a load in.
There’s something so pleasing about the fresh, clean scent of laundry just off the line. It feels great to slip into a crisp, clean shirt that’s been dried by the sun. And, it’s free! I come by these pleasures without paying a cent – it doesn’t get any better, really.
And have I mentioned the wonderful way the sun seems to make stains disappear? Some of the kids shirts have had stains on them for ages, stains that never faded from one washing to the next. But after a day of hanging in the sun, the stains seem to fade, until a few washes later they are gone altogether. The sun is my friend.
As I hang my laundry on the line, I feel some sort of connection to all the other women in the world who are going about their domestic tasks, caring for their wee ones and keeping things in order. I feel timeless, one with the women of days gone by who had no choice but to hang their laundry. I feel the bridge between my grandmother’s childhood and my own children’s lives; these experiences that my grandmother remembers now belong to my own little ones to carry forward through life.
In this crazy, bustling world, I am grateful to have something as simple as a laundry line. It’s a gentle reminder: life doesn’t have to be so complicated; technology is not the be-all and end-all; the best things in life are free. Who knew a couple of posts and a length of cord could be so wonderful?