deep fondness for clothes hanging on the line, billowing with the breeze, whether they are my family's clothes or a stranger's. Even in the National Geographic Magazine photos of refugees sitting in almost empty rooms with their clotheslines stretching from one wall to another, I find some warmth and respect for that which is slow and deliberate.
As I was gluing my little matchbox shrines this morning, I hung Boppa's clothespin bag on the edge of my work table. I pulled out clothespins one at a time as needed. They are light in weight and in color, this assortment I have bought over the years for a myriad of uses, but mainly for hanging clothes on the line. As I worked, I didn't realize I was getting so close to the bottom of the bag, until I put my hand on a heavier one. I pulled it out. The wood was dark and the pinch to open it took more force as its springs were tighter.
I guess some people still have what is called "the good china." Well, we may not have something like that. What we do have is, "the good clothespins". These are the ones that my grandmother & grandfather used. These are the ones they pinched to open, every time they washed a load of clothes and took them, soggy, to the line in the backyard where the sun ripened their tomatoes and dried their clothes to a crisp. These good clothespins are the ones that touched their laundry, and touched other things that needed holding together (just as their cousin workhorses, string and rubber bands and duct tape would do).
I just barely grew up in a slower time where laundry dried outside and grandparents weren't "like" second parents, but truly were second parents. And when I touch the good clothespins with my fingers, somehow I receive a tactile message from them that runs through my body & heart. I hope to send a message back, but I'm not sure it works that way. So I consider prayer as the vehicle of my expression. And all I need to say is, "thank you."