On any morning that I wake up and see blue sky, that first breath of fresh, outside air inspires me. Would today be the best day this week to hang out the laundry? Please? Could this be one of the Things I get to do today?
The shade structure over our back patio has support pillars. Four of the pillars have eye screws and carabineers. Onto these connections on days that look like dry laundry, I string clothesline cord in a pattern that looks like a box with an “X” in the middle. When all the fabrics are dry, the cord comes down, and few suspect my clean little secret.
Sometimes I am offered help in hanging the fresh-but-damp items on the line. Help is always appreciated, but this is a task I relish, and I prefer to bask in its pleasure alone. It feels like a meditation of harmony and order, and solitude serves well.
Focusing on a task to bring it to its finest expression brings great joy so I pay attention to the whole process. Like is suspended with like. Where items are stored when dry determines how they are grouped on the line. Folding the wash after the fresh air has sucked all the moisture out is done as it is unpinned from the line. So now everything in the laundry basket is ready to go immediately into its storage space as I walk through the house.
The items I do not fold are the sheets. If anyone were to ask me my definition of purest luxury, it is this: Fresh, line-dried sheets on my bed every night. So these crisp, fragrant, sun-infused, heavenly fabrics go straight to the bed. And when I slide into those sparkling sheets their first night off the line, I’m just about as close as one can get to heaven.