Something good about simple, physical labor (a.k.a. drudge work)

Nothing earth-shattering, here.

This morning, this sun-bright, half-foot-of-snow covered morning, I was blessed. Again.

I had machine-washed a load of towels and wanted to hang them out to dry. It looked like a perfect morning to do so, the sky so blue, a gentle breeze, and predictions that it would warm up to freezing. Ahh, relative warmth!

I gathered the damp towels into the basket, stepped outside, and noted that I had not finished the snow shoveling last night, and that the snow had continued after I had given up for the evening. Hmmmm.

I set the basket down on some clean dry gravel, grabbed my gloves and a snow shovel, and set to work. I could hear nuthatches, bluejays, crows, the neighbor's French mastiff, and a couple of snow blowers. The sun felt so warm.

Soon the snow was out of the way and I was able to begin hanging the towels - a large load, mostly hand towels, napkins and hankies.

Standing at the south side of the house, I was sheltered from breezes and kept nicely warm. I picked up each item, clipped it to the line, bent down and picked up another.

I am grateful that my body still works reasonably well, able to bend and lift, bend and lift, the fingers work in 25 F temperatures, still.

The extra special blessing, though, was that some spiritual matters were on my mind, and I was able to sort through not only napkins and hankies, and hang them up in the sunlight, but I was able to sift through my own feelings, recall scripture, wonder aloud, unhurried, as I did this most basic of chores. I was connected to the thousands of generations of people before me, for whom survival was of the utmost concern, who had no modern conveniences, and so had hours a day of such work - hanging clothes, chopping wood, harvesting, hauling, grinding, cooking, nursing, during which they often must have reflected on various concerns, spiritual and emotional and social.

It is a properly human pace for me, allowing my spirit and mind to interact as I did work that did not require much intellect (once I figured out some basics - hey, contrary to what some may believe, I don't think this domestic chore stuff is in any of my DNA).

So my chores got me moving, got me outside, kept me productive as I pondered some eternal matters. That was good.

Now that I have had an opportunity to come inside and warm up and have a bite, time to return to the next blissful bit of hearthkeeping.



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