Rx Laundry

“Rx Laundry” by Robynn. Follow Robynn on Twitter @RobynnBliss

Rx laundry

Mondays are the days I reserve for laundry.

The weekends are pretty crazy around here. Our son typically works several shifts at the grocery store. He’s in and out. When he’s in he’s eating! – which means I’m cooking. Our older daughter also works. That means driving her to the restaurant and picking her up when she’s done. Both girls often get together with friends. I’m dropping them off somewhere or fetching them from somewhere. There are homework assignments to check in on, school projects that need supplies, papers that need to be printed off. One of the committees I’m involved in at church usually meets on Saturdays. Lowell is part of an interesting book club that meets on the weekends. I get to teach Sunday school to a room full of elementary age kiddos. That means reserving some prep time on Saturday afternoons. Sundays are given to church and youth group and friends popping by.

But Mondays are reserved for laundry.

I’ve always secretly liked doing laundry. Even in India where my first wash machine was a twin-tub-decidedly-not-automatic Godrej machine. I’d wash a small load and then move it to the spinner, then transfer it to a clean tub of water to rinse it, then move it back to the spinner. On exceptional days I’d rinse it again and then spin it again. Usually I shrugged off the second rinse and took the clothes from the spinner to hang on the laundry racks placed outside on my verandah, or inside under the ceiling fan during monsoon season. Laundry was a multi-stepped chore. As children joined our family, or guests contributed to our piles, laundry became a daily activity. The water supply was tentative at best. Electricity was fickle and unreliable. Washing one or two loads a day was the only way to keep up with the Himalayan piles that sweat and dirt and dust and monsoon mud amplified.

But now I reserve Mondays for laundry.

I like the rhythm of it. The sorting–darks, lights, whites, towels, darks, lights, whites, towels—soothes the soul-sorting that also comes on a Monday morn. Quiet and deliberate. Handling each piece of clothing is an unusual way of reliving the week before. The week is dumped out on the floor and then picked through, put in piles, unpacked, processed. The shirt Adelaide wore to audition for the high school musical lies next to the outfit she wore when she heard she didn’t get the part she wanted. Connor’s work uniforms, too many of them, how will he manage his studies and working so many shifts in a week? Bronwynn’s muddy clothes from the youth group mud volley ball event. Is she finding a place in community? Is she making friends?  I find myself shaking out clothes, perhaps, secretly hoping to shake out the anxieties we face and the fears we fight off.

I like how measurable laundry is. I can see it disappearing before my eyes. One load’s in the machine, the other is in the dryer. The basket is full of a warm stir-fry of clean clothes. Everyone’s story is mixed together in the basket of warm shirts, jeans, towels, bed sheets. Here the family all get along. Pulling out each article of clothing, flicking the wrinkles out, folding them smooth, placing them in orderly stacks. I can see progress. The tactile evidence of success and forward movement pleases me.

I like how comforting and predictable the rhythms of laundry are. Mondays are my favourite days. Slowly, gradually the stuff of life is sorted. Slowly, gradually the piles are processed. Slowly, gradually, order is restored. Slowly, gradually I’m too am re-ordered, re-done.

Not everyone has the luxury of a Monday Laundry day. But I highly recommend it! Take the day off just once. Do the laundry! See your soul before you on the floor. Watch as the cleansing happens. Breathe in the smells of clean and promise. Slow your spirit to keep pace with the patterns of the water moving rhythmically in the machine.

Pray through your piles. Dump out your pains and your disappointments. Sort through them. Fold the future into manageable stacks. Sprinkle those stacks with expectation and hope. Lay it all down, gently, into baskets. Take those baskets to the altar. Leave them there –offerings, surrendered to the God of all things new.This is why I reserve Mondays for laundry.

How do you sort through your piles and pains? Do you link it to something as concrete as laundry? We would love to hear from you through the comments.