I guess this would be my version of airin' some (clean as opposed to dirty) laundry....or clothespin art....or 5 sheets to the wind or....laundress gone loopy or....perhaps you could tell me....!
What really struck me, though, as I was loading these photos is that I would never have ever taken shots like these 6 or 7 years ago--it would never have even occurred to me!
For one thing, I never hung my laundry out on a clothesline to dry. I didn't even think people did that anymore. They certainly don't for the most part in the Dallas suburbs. When I spent some time with my childhood friend, Lizette, in Australia, she hung her laundry out to dry on a clothesline--not just occasionally but every time she washed--as did most everyone down there. The towels come out kinda crispy, but OH! the bed linens! How can you begin to describe the wispy, fresh, wonderful smell of sheets dried in warm breezes and sunshine? It's just one of those things you have to experience! Mere words just can never do it justice.
But the other thing I realized was that I was always in such a rush or hurry. Where on earth do you find the time to go hang clothes out on a line and then wait for them to dry? And then what if it rains...or the birds poop on something...or the kids get their grimey hands all over it....or...(well, I didn't exactly have goats to worry about)...?? It all presented way too many logistical problems in my mind. I'll just throw it all in the dryer, slam the door, and be done with this mess! And it's another tick of the never-ending to-do list. Whew! Besides, who really wants to deal with laundry more than you already have to deal with it? Aren't there more constructive, industrious, productive priorities in my life than LAUNDRY? Please!
Despite all of this, however, there was still something very romantic to me about hanging the laundry--or the bed linens at the very least--out on a clothesline to dry. And I guess it was that romantic image in my mind that slowed me down a bit and caused me to pause....and to reconsider all my rush and haste about things...even if it did take me 6 or 7 years to really SLOW way down.
You've heard the old saying, "take time to stop and smell the roses..." but I needed to take time to just stop. Period. And ask myself why and for what I was doing so much of my present scurrying around! What was so dadgummed important about it, after all? Was I starving to death? Was I being persecuted? Was I running from the law? What was I so afraid of that just wasn't gonna get done or get accomplished? Who was I trying to impress? It seemed as though there was somebody or something out there somewhere that I was trying so vainly to impress with all my frantic carryin' on. So who or what was it? In the whole big scheme of things, I realized it mostly boiled down to myself. No one was doing' this to me...but me.
I also realized that I identified way more with that dirty, stinkin', soiled heap of dirty rags on the floor than I really cared to admit. In many ways I knew that I needed to be scooped up, cleaned up, and put through the wringer--but not just through any ol' wringer. I knew that God was somehow trying to work on me and I spent an inordinate amount of time causing as many distractions and disruptions to that process as I could manage to throw in there.
It has also occurred to me that it takes way more courage to slow down and to even stop than it does to run as fast as a body can run in any direction. Just take the example of being chased by a wild animal or a dog that's on the chase. If you don't panic and run, many times that can save a person from sure attack. But man! Does that ever require some courageous fortitude!
I've discovered, too, that once I slowed down, I started looking around more. And when I'm hanging laundry out on the line--even if it's at the very least the bed linens--I have to look up. And I've begun seeing more beautiful things in my life by simply looking up! And out...and far....and wide. It's really amazing! But it's all because I somehow managed to let God wring me out and shake me loose and give me the present courage it took to slow way down....to find the narrow path....and to discover it's unfolding beauty. And that's also why I would never have taken photos like these 6 or 7 years ago. There it is again...Give us this day our daily bread...it's always more than enough, isn't it!