Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Poetry Wednesday: Mundane Things

The Russian Sage is now in full glory and dominating the garden. But the little orange hummingbird trumpets are putting on a pretty nice little show of their own.

Visit Jacqui's Multi-Blog Poetry Wednesday.

Never Underestimate the Therapeutic Value
in Mundane Things

. . .
Ah, the smell of
Freshly laundered sheets
Reminds me of something.
Way in the past.
A carefree time.

There is a way to fold fitted sheets.
I know how.
A simple joy,
Tidy stacks of fragrant linens.
I hurry through nothing
These days.

Weeding along the pavement
Thinking only of those weeds.
How do they grow so tall?
Between those baking rocks
With no water?
Living things
Surviving harsh conditions.

Breathe in and out.

Watering the yard
And the neighbor’s lawn, too,
While they are away
As their sprinkling system stopped
And their lawn is on life support.
I have to try
To save it.

Deep breaths . . .

Sometimes they live,
The doctor told me,
For many years to come.
We have to try.
Though sometimes
They don’t survive.
I’m sorry . . .

I will go to work today,
After first sitting quietly
With my coffee,
Breathing in and out,
Watching the little hummingbirds
Who have found the feeder
Installed by Art,
In lieu of flowers.

There is no rush.
I hurry through nothing
These days.

Becky Stauffer
July 2009

From across the street in the pre-sunrise light, my own lawn looks pretty dry. But the temps have been in the 100s and I am stingy with the water. It will green up more as temps cool down. Tough love for the lawn.

UPDATE: Kwika in the comments has asked me how to fold a fitted sheet. And I have tried with a little drawing program to make an illustration (argh, I'm a terrible graphic artist). Of course, you can improvise on this. The key is tucking the corners inside one another and folding all the non-flat parts toward the middle and inside.
Fold the sheet in half by turning the the bottom rounded corners inside out and tucking them into the right-side-out top corners. The 'sides' (the part of the sheet that goes on the sides of the bed) will naturally fold inward; straighten and smooth these parts. There will be wrinkles and lumps, just smooth as best you can. This gives you a sort-of rectangle as seen in the illustration. Now fold the left and right edges in, meeting at the center. Now none of the fitted corners or sides are showing. Continue folding in halves or thirds to achieve the size you like.

Tip: Lay the sheet on the bed to fold as you'll need a large flat surface.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

I Love this poem. The mundane things are what makes life worth living when we notice them as you have done. Seeds sprouting, flowers blooming, life going on as it should.

Thank you so much for participating in my Poetry Wednesday tours. Meeting you here has been one of the greater joys of life in blogland.

Kwika said...

I agree too often we forget to look at what's around us in the rush to...where exactly I don't know. Just to stop for a minute, such bliss. love your poem and...so you know how to fold fitted sheets? do tell:)

bekkieann said...

Kwika, see my update above. I've added an illustration and instructions for folding a fitted sheet.

Thank you for your kind comment.

Jacqui, thank you too. It is amazing to have friends we have never actually met, but feel we know very well.

Michael said...

What a thoughtful and poignant poem Becks and therapeutic too I'm thinking - well done you.

As for folding fitted sheets, I have always considered this a theoretical process requiring the intervention of NASA!

I cheat - I put them straight back on the bed as soon as they are dry...lol.

bekkieann said...

Mick, your way is far more practical. Really, it makes much more sense. There are probably many such tasks we do for no other reason than 'just because' . . . or because mom made us do it when we were kids.

Dangerous Meredith said...

I was very moved by this lovely poem. The photo of the flowers is nice to. My way of dealing with folding the fitted sheets is not to own any in the first place

heatherbelle said...

Well Kwika beat me to it..I was going to ask the very same thing.

I am looking at and being grateful for the small things in life at this point in time...it seems very appropriate as sometimes the big picture is overwhelming.

I love your poem.

bekkieann said...

Meredith, I remember when we only had flat sheets and we girls were expected to know how to make "hospital corners" lest we be considered sloppy homemakers. I could make those corners in my sleep.

Heatherbelle, I am amazed with your courage in telling your story in your blog. I find myself breathless as I read. I wish you well every day. Take care of yourself.

Bee's Blog said...

It's the 'mundane' things that make life. You have put it so well here.

I always find it very strange that when two women fold a sheet together, they know exactly what to do but ask a man.............and one ends up tangled!!

I used to iron my sheets!! And my towels!! And my tea cloths!! Don't do that anymore as that is one mundane exercise i can live without. I think it was a left over from when we lived in Nigeria. Everything that was hung outside to dry had to be ironed to kill off the tumble fly eggs that could possibly have been laid. You would never see it or know it until it started growing under your skin!

bekkieann said...

Yikes, Bee, we used to iron everything too, but not for that reason. Back in the 50's we dried almost everything on the line. I don't remember when we acquired a dryer, but it changed our lives. With many younger siblings, I remember ironing many many little shirts and shorts, also dad's big shirts, dresses for us all, pillow cases, etc., but mom didn't require us to do the sheets. I have occasionally ironed sheets myself as I simply like the crisp feeling it gives them. But it's more work than it's worth really.