Cleaning refrigerators and toilets helps you connect the food cycle at both ends. Making beds reminds you that life-giving activities do not require much space. Hanging laundry on the line offers you a chance to fly prayer flags disguised as bath towels and underwear. If all life is holy, then anything that sustains life has holy dimensions too. The difference between washing windows and resting in god can be a simple decision: choose the work and it becomes your spiritual practice. – Barbara Brown Taylor
When she could barely walk 20 feet without giving out of my breath, Granny could still bend over to pick up the tiniest piece of fluff from her sparkling floor. Dishes were always done right away at her house, and the fact that the washer and dryer sat in her kitchen never seemed inconvenient when towels and sheets and curtains needed to be washed almost every day.
I have much to learn from my granny, much I was gifted to see in the years of her life. Much I should have asked before she died last week or before her mind slipped more in the past few years.
But I do know a great deal. I know that love comes in the flavor of chocolate fudge frosting and dumplings rolled by hand and even frozen from a package. I know that favor carries in coffee-flavored water brewed boiling hot in a percolater. I know that family is covering the floor with pallets and sharing kindly the one bathroom in the middle of the house.
I know that it comes in quietness, too, when life is hard – from people who seek all the attention, from snakes that sneak into the floor boards of your house, from the constant work required to keep a house the way it made her feel good to keep it. I know that love comes in that quiet giggle when we tickled her feet and in the soft stitches of blankets and baby booties knitted by her tiny hands.
Love need not be flashy or big. It need not even extend much beyond the walls of a small brick house on a quiet road in eastern North Carolina.
But that love can fill a church and a family. 11 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great grandchildren. Kind, polite . . . and missing that chocolate syrup for breakfast every day for the rest of our lives.
May God’s Whisper Farm carry Granny’s legacy long into the laundry and the food. Long into the laughter and the games of Rook. Long into the years and quiet of dishes washed by hand. Every day.