Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.
Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.
Years ago when I told my grandmother that I planned to use cloth diapers, I heard her squawking over the line, “Why? Why would you want to do something that you don’t have to do? It’s so much work.” I ran down a variety of reasons focused on chemicals and the environment and landfills knowing she’d already rolled her eyes and tuned me out. I reminded her, these are better than the cloth diapers she had when she was raising babies, that I had a washing machine, a line to hang them on and the squawking began again, “What?!? What do you mean hang them on? Why would you hang anything on a clothesline if you have a dryer?” I realize that to a woman born in the early part of the twentieth century, doing laundry was hard work that required the building of the fire, boiling of water, scrubbing of clothes, hanging them out to dry, not to mention the ironing once they were all brought in. She had a point. I didn’t have to do this. For me, this was a choice I made.
During a recent visit with my grandmother, she asked if I was still using a clothesline. I smiled and nodded yes, rushing to explain myself. I told her about putting a load to wash at night on the way to bed, about looking forward to hanging the diapers in the early morning while it’s still cool and quiet. The chance to leave the noise of four breakfasting children, the baby babbling in her swing, to hang diapers on the line for a few minutes, it’s a breather after the hustle and bustle of making breakfast and getting the kids to the table. I tell her about noticing the dew on my feet, about hearing our resident woodpecker at work, while i quietly hang diapers and scan the trees until I locate his glorious red head. I wax on about the spider webs that seem to spring up over night, glistening with dew. The way the flowers are still bright, heads held high, as of yet undefeated by the brutal heat the day will bring.
I tell her how later in the day I’ll be out there to bring in the diapers or clothes and look up to see the kids huddled together in the corner of the yard exclaiming over a golden silk spider, a red velvet ant which we have since discovered is actually a wasp, or a lone iris blooming at the base of a stump. Or sometimes how I have to rush out to grab the diapers as rain moves in, big, fat drops falling on us, the kids running around the yard squealing in delight. Sometimes the day gets away from me and I’ll head outside after dinner to bring in the second load of laundry and my husband will follow me out, and long after the last piece of clothing is in the basket, we’ll be standing there in the gathering dusk, talking, watching for fireflies.
My grandmother listened to me wax poetic about my cloth diapers and clotheslines and smiled. She said she would think about me as the summer afternoons stretched into evening, the baby in the wrap, me reaching for diapers and sheets, contented with the day’s work, and she’d be there with me in spirit listening to the cicadas buzz, searching for fireflies.
This month we are so very pleased to be welcoming Amanda as a contributor to the Being series. Amanda is a homeschooling mother of five who lives in the deep south and writes with wit, humor and honesty on her blog, The Habit of Being. We hope that you will stop by each Thursday to share in Amanda’s reflections.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do. To learn more about us, please visit us on Facebook,Pinterest, and Twitter.
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