There is something so satisfying about a made bed. I don't often do it. I got out of the habit when the kids were little and their dad worked nights. Since there was always someone SLEEPING in the bed, it didn't seem like a good use of time to make it. Besides, I had a baby and a toddler. Who cares about making a bed?
This week, I made the bed five days in a row. I reveled in it. I stood back and admired it. I derived such great pleasure in it, I might even continue to do it.
I found that once I made the bed, I wanted to do other things in the bedroom--other than the obvious things, that is. I wanted to fru-fru again, something I have not done in awhile. I wanted all the laundry put away. I wanted the place dusted. So I chartered some time each day and did it all. I even opened the blinds.
I realized then that open blinds are miracles. The room felt beautiful again. Now, it's hard to keep blinds open in a bedroom (for other obvious reasons) and the tendency is to keep them down because....after all. We'll just have to close them again. But opening the blinds gave me light and a view of tree-tops (even if sparse ones). I could see the squirrels. My daughter pointed to the sun shining on the tree trunks and said, "Look, Mom! It looks like a painting!" She stood by the glass and pointed, "Look at that blue bird!"
"That's a Blue jay," I told her. Amazing what you can see through an open window.
The other day, crews of men and women were in our neighborhood planting new trees. Some were being planted in front of our townhouse. On my way to drop the kids off at school, I unrolled the van window and gave them the "thumbs up." "Trees! YAY!!!" I shouted and smiled.
"Moooooooooom," my older girl groaned from the back. "Don't EVER do that again! That was SO embarrassing."
I've noticed the wetlands and ducks and geese are coming back to our subdivision. We've lived here for five years, and there has been virtually no wildlife. Walking the dog the other day with my husband, we went to the front of the subdivision, closer to the entrance, where there is a pretty little run-off that sometimes looks like a pond. There's a fence around it, and trees and sometimes, kids try to fish in there. I don't know if they ever catch anything, but on the day my husband and I walked with our Inu, Ducks quacked, geese honked, and little birds called from above. It was a joy I have felt deprived of ever since we moved here. I was grateful.
So was the dog. She had something to try to chase. She didn't appreciate the leash.
The Victorians used the outside for more than just leisure. They used it for health. Anyone suffering from melancholy was advised to visit the seashore and take daily walks. Picnics outside provided hours of pleasure, and these were traditional dates. There is nothing so soothing or healing as water, trees, and birds. Animals know we need them. It's we who forget that we do.
Cats on a cleared couch, dog in a clean patch of sunlight shining on a vacuumed rug, clutter removed from tables so we can see and feel it all, a gentle smell of real roses my husband brought home for me on a bad day, and of course, coats all neatly hung....these are the things that calm my mind and bring me tremendous joy.
When we first moved here, I got to do more of it. I got to be as anal as I wanted with our new home. I primped and prodded and organized and bathed in the bright and the clean. When things got crazy, I could no longer do that. Time and ambition just wouldn't permit it.
But being in a lot lately, I've gotten to remember how good it all feels.
I'm glad those feelings have returned.