Thursday, August 28, 2008

Folding Clothes

One of my favorite book of meditations is "Being Home" by Gunilla Norris, which celebrates mindfulness in the daily rhythm of caring for our homes. Gunilla is gifted in taking a most ordinary task such as folding laundry and turning it into something profoundly sacred. Her prayers allow us to be present in the Presence.

Folding Clothes

Out of the dryer the clothes come
smelling of soap and fabric softener.
The underpants cling to the nightshirt.
The towels crackle.
Everything is mixed up with everything else.

I want to turn this heap
of electrical excitement
into some kind of order.
I want it to become
a means of prayer, a litany.

The hand towels come first.
Each day a new one goes on the hook.
Let the folding of these towels
be an invocation. I think of the hands
that have been dried on them.
Tentative, strong, confused, determined hands.
Grant that our hands will find ways
to do Your will. Keep us in Your Love.

Now the sheets.
My friends slept in them last night.
Let the folding of these sheets
be an intercession. Fold my friends
into Your tenderness. Keep us in Your Love.

Then the personal clothes.
One sock is rolled together with its mate.
One sweater sleeve goes over the other,
an image of repose.
Let the folding of these garments
be a confession. Help me to surrender,
to give up all those false excitements,
clinging attachments, static insistencies.
Help me instead to be folded into You.
Help me to be clothed by You, to dwell in You,
to make my life an obedience.
Keep us in Your Love.

Let the completed task be offered...
such a small thing...yet let it be offered
as thanksgiving. Your amazing mystery is here
even now receiving this smallness.
Keep us in Your Love.

Being Home, A Book of Meditations, p. 54

3 comments:

Sigrid said...

Sure beats worrying about toilet seats!

kristin said...

This is incredible! and, an attitude that can be had when cooking meals, mopping floors, washing windows, etc.

How wonderful, to welcome the Divine, and to weave it into every piece of the fabric of our daily lives...even to the folding of the family laundry.

Thank you for sharing this woman's words of wisdom with us....

God bless you...

ROBERTA said...

Kristin,
Just as a way to entice you to purchase the book here is a listing of some of the other prayers Ms. Norris penned in this small treasure:

-making the bed
-paying bills
-getting dressed
-reading the paper
-turning on the light
there are 71 prayers in all.....

This is a book I often use with directees who are looking for new ways of becoming aware of God in their midst. It reminds me of the way the early Celtic Christians prayed over every aspect of their day.....

Glad you enjoyed the meditation,

Peace,
Roberta