(January 2007. Photo by Robin)

Before Enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water.
After Enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water.

— Zen saying

Here in Sabbaticalville we are not the pampered people we are in the Bogs. Here in Sabbaticalville we don’t have a dishwasher so we wash dishes the old fashioned way, by hand.

Sometimes household chores are pure drudgery.

And sometimes, when I’m in the right frame of mind, it’s a form of meditation.

Washing dishes, I feel the steam from the water rising up my hands, my arms, breathing it in, soothing my sinuses on this dry winter day. Washing dishes, I listen to the bubbles popping and crinkling in the water, tickled as they burst on my arms and hands. Washing dishes, I delight in the feeling of clean. Washing dishes, I find a slow and graceful process of movement in the wiping, scrubbing, rinsing, and placing of the dishes in the dish rack. From right to left: wash, rinse, rack, wash, rinse, rack, wash, rinse, rack, until all the dishes are sparkling clean.

Washing dishes, I can see and feel my accomplishment, a job well done.

Granted, I’ll be doing it over and over and over again. That’s housework for you. A never ending task.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie