Monday, 3 December 2012

Loving laundry

I have always been the laundry go to person between hubby and me. He has put washing on a few times in the last 8 years, and has hung out plenty of loads. But I am the one with the strategic planning in my mind of how many loads on which days and whether they will be delicate, regular, sheets and towels, etc. I am also the folder. There are three loads waiting to be folded in the lounge while I write this.

And I actually love laundry. I used to love the folding and putting it away. Creating order, a fresh start, a job done. Now I like putting the loads on. Watching the huge piles diminish and the machine humming away. While I was pregnant I had to buy Persil again cause I couldn't cope with the "natural" smells of eco friendly laundry liquid. So I love walking past the cupboard the machine lives in and smelling the smell of "clean". But recently my absolute favourite bit is hanging the washing out.

Hanging it out takes a long time. And it involves lots of bending up and down. But I am alone - at least with a bit of personal space. I get to move and stretch. I can smell the air and the day. I have to squint into the sun and get up on my tippy toes to reach the line. It is a rotary clothesline which is stuck a bit too high for me. There is still the satisfaction of organisation (I am definitely not a fan of the random washing arrangements hubby seems to go for). I have rules I follow to try to fit as much on the line as possible and for it to dry as fast as possible. I get to look around the garden and see the bees flying in and out of the hives, the chickens scratching around and the veges growing. At the moment the "cherry on top" is looking to see if there are any ripe raspberries or strawberries. It sounds blissful, and it really is. I look around and see how over the last few years our dreams have unfolded from our minds and into our reality.

Ella loves to play in her ride on car and make up all sorts of games while I am pegging busily away. At the moment there is lots of talking to herself and her imaginary friends. I hear her talking like she is the mummy. Sometimes what she says is a little too close for comfort "Stop that Mafi!" (her imaginary friend). "You are not using your listening ears and I am getting cross". Mmm wonder who says that?

If George is awake, he doesn't quite have the stamina for a whole load of laundry. He sits in his bouncinet squinting a little at the outside, outside world. Funny how babies are born from inside tummies, to inside rooms, and then finally out into the outside world, especially July babies in New Zealand.

Hanging out the laundry reminds me of me. That I love being outside and being at home and growing things and all this life that is around me and that I am living is what I have wanted. And sometimes I forget that. Sometimes it all gets really overwhelming and I think "Is this really me? Am I in someone else's life? Has there been some terrible mistake and I am supposed to be somewhere else?"
But with pegs in hand, creating a little order in the chaos, I remember that I love it all - the everydayness and the ordinary of it. And that we are really living it. Living our dream. I might have a lot more scars - real and invisible - than I expected, but I am still essentially me. I can trust that, even when it feels like the ground is in constant motion and I am lost.

Laundry as meditation.