My husband put up a clothes line for me. Our backyard is in shambles. He is demolishing the back unit that we thought we would rent out to pay for most of the mortgage. Unfortunately, we found so much mold and termites that we could never have someone live there. Now there are boards and pieces of walls knocked down. There are nails all over the ground; I have to watch where I step carefully.
I don’t like to be in the backyard right now unless I am drying clothes. It reminds me of being a child. In our small apartment in Brooklyn we only had a washer between the sink and the stove in the kitchen. In the spring and summer I would help my mother dry the clothes by putting them out on the line from the windows of our bedrooms. In the concrete backyard there was a big pole that had spokes to connect a clothes line or two from each apartment.
As a child I color coordinated our clothes line. I pretended to be out in the country somewhere; the sun shining on my face, wearing an apron with a pocket big enough to hold all my clothes pins. I pretended to be somewhere else and now as I put each article of clothing on the clothes line I am reminded of all those memories.
There is something peaceful when you let yourself be present in your chores. I stop complaining and start smiling. I take the moments to hear the birds chirp and the planes go by. I watch my son play on the small trampoline and enjoy his laughter. I then want to do more like water the plants and take out the weeds. Then I imagine a backyard like I always wanted with flowers and vegetables; bunnies and goats; a swing and some toys; the barbecue going and some company.
Alhamdullilah. I live in a house with my family, I have bad days and good days. I take showers with hot water and have a fridge full of food. I have friends who care and parents who I talk to almost every day. It’s beautiful, really, to be given a life and try to understand what everything means. My learning lessons are sometimes hard, sometimes I am the one that makes them the most difficult. I cry a lot, when I think of all the mistakes I’ve made. Then I try to forgive myself. Then I try to present. Drying clothes on the line helps. Thank you.