The list for the morning was clear when I awoke: Pray, read and meditate. Do the laundry dance. Clean the master bedroom and bathroom and vacuum the second floor hallway. Clean-out the refrigerator and make a grocery list followed by doing the grocery shopping and unpacking the groceries once home again. Fold clothes, put away, and iron. Cinderella's list? Not in my book, for I love to hometend and in the hometending I encounter the sacred. I pray my way through these homey tasks.
My first prayer is one of gratitude. Thank you, loving Creator, for this life; the luxury of living according to my own schedule and desires. And my prayers go on from there, beginning with the laundry. As I load the washing machine, I think about the blessings of the recent days. I see a Valentine handkerchief I tucked in my pocket on Saturday and remember the friend who gave it to me. Thank you for the gift of friendship in my life. I toss my husband's exercise clothes into the washer and am grateful he takes care of himself in this healthy way. I change the sheets on our bed, smoothing and tucking and folding and as I layer blankets and spread and pillows, I think about the rhythm of our days, morning to night to morning to night and on and on. I do nothing to make that happen. It just is. I clean our bathroom--not my favorite task, for sure, but I love the light in this room and the view over the rooftops of our neighborhood. I send blessings to all the households in my sight. I hang fresh towels and think about the first time I did that in this house after a year of being in transition, and I am overwhelmed with amazement and gratitude for being able to live here. I vacuum the hallway, peeking in at guest rooms and think about those who have visited and those who will soon be coming and I send them prayers of hope that they may receive whatever it is they need today.
The whole grocery routine follows and here is where it falls apart for me a bit. My least favorite part of the whole process is lugging in the bags of groceries when I get home and then unpacking them. I often tease the bagger and ask if she is coming home with me to unpack, since she does such a good job packing my purchases and often the response is, "Wish I could." Bless your heart, I think, and for an instant I see the holy before me.
Gunilla Norris, one of the goddesses in my life, in her book of poetry Being Home, A Book of Meditations, says, "Prayer and housekeeping--they go together. They have always gone together. We simply know that our daily round is how we live. When we clean and order our homes, we are somehow also cleaning and ordering ourselves...How we hold the simplest of our tasks speaks loudly about how we hold life itself."
I choose to see Monday as a sacred day and to move through this day as if tending an altar where at the end of the day I will kneel and give thanks for the glories of the day.