A new outlook on laundry

Tonight, I did laundry.

I grabbed my headphones and listened to my current favorite: the soundtrack to The Last of the Mohicans. The music moves me, just as the movie did.

As I smoothed the wrinkles away from my husband’s shirts, just out of the dryer, their warmth spoke to me. I was struck by the memories they held. Each shirt told a piece of our story.

The funny navy blue shirt was the first gift I bought him.

The one with the map of Reunion Island takes me back to my homeland, where we met… where it all began.

The work uniforms, material proof of all the hard work he puts in to provide for our family and to contribute to the world.

The black shirt with “Live Aloha” printed in front. A perfect fit for him because that’s what he does, that’s how he lives. He’s kind. He’s gentle. He’s helpful. With me, still, after 18 years and with everyone else who’s lucky enough to be on his path. He is the embodiment of Aloha.

Even the underwear made me smile. That’s the first thing we did together: shop for underwear! We weren’t even dating yet. The airline hadn’t delivered his suitcase and wouldn’t for the entire week he was staying. He needed clothes and didn’t speak French so we all went with him: the friend who introduced us, the friend’s girlfriend (my sister) and me. He bought navy blue briefs. We’ve kept those.

As I laid one shirt on top of another, my heart swelled with gratitude.
Laundry was not a chore tonight. It was a privilege. If only I could always see such beauty in the mundane tasks of my quotidian.

Dirty clothes are proof of Life being lived. The routine can be a bore or it can be a joy. Joy that he’s here, that we get to be together… still.

Dirty clothes mean that we worked out and sweated. Together.
That we went to the beach and got sandy. Together.
That we dressed up and ate out. Together.

For a split second I wished that life could be as simple as a stack of neatly folded shirts. I can’t throw the messiness of fate into my machine and wash away the mistakes, the hurts and the pain. Yes, sometimes the load seems bigger than what I can handle. But I can always select the gentle cycle. And when all else fails, I can add a good measure of Love.
There’s lots of tumbling and at times, it feels like all your strength is wrung out of you. But what you end up with is the cleanest, purest Love you’ve ever experienced.

Never again will I look at a full hamper as a burden. It is my privilege. A quiet respite to reminisce on beautiful memories. My chance to love on those I am blessed to share life with.

Tonight I did laundry.

It was beautiful.


How do you view laundry? Share in the comment section below.

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One thought on “A new outlook on laundry

  1. This is a positive, romantic way to consider laundry and other daily chores. I like it.
    At home, my husband does most of these, and I think that he sometimes thinks the way you do: he takes care of us doing the chores too (wait, I don’t let him do everything, right…).
    As far as I am concerned, what I like when I iron my husband and son’s clothes, is the smell of them as with the memories it brings back to me. But I can’t forget how cruel can the long sleeves be, and how my crooked back can be painful, fortunately it doesn’t often happen.
    It was nice reading you again.

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