Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Table Grace: Washing Dishes

Cleaning up after a meal is considered time-consuming drudgery best relegated to an appliance. Not in my house.

OK, so I recently acquired a first (do I live in a cave). I admit that a dishwasher cuts away the clean-up after large family meals and keeps counter clutter down but I still think of washing dishes by hand as a pleasure.

Like offering a toast or saying grace before a meal, clearing the table and doing the clean-up up afterward puts a benediction on it. At least, that's how it goes in my narrow little mind.

Dishwashing purifies my surroundings, making my kitchen whole again. It also slows my rush to join the outside world...this is a chance for a sort of meditation...the act of cleaning focuses my attention on the objects I handle.

Another benefit of washing dishes is the simple pleasure of returning order to my cooking spaces. The physical work of washing and storing dishes, pots and pans, lets me touch the surfaces of beloved objects and practice the art of organization. Thoughtful care of tableware supports my wish for peace, beauty and order at home.



Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Becky
What a wonderful way to look at the task of washing dishes!! I wish I could feel this way... no dishwasher here.. although it is only my own mess... But you are right , some tasks can take on new purpose if you consider them in a different light... i'll give it a try tomorrow.. and be thankful I do have food on my table to allow the mess xx Julie

Trailboss said...

Hey Kathleen, come here. You gotta read this!

Anonymous said...

I like washing dishes by hand. There is a sense of accomplishment, the joy of seeing a transformation from grunge to clean, from grease to squeek, from cloudy to shiny. It is calming. Baptism is like washing dishes: cleansing, ordering (as you say), preparing for another time of refreshment and replenishment. Dishwashing, God preparing us for another day. We are the dishes, God the washer. Peace! Ron

lakeviewer said...

Yes. Time for meditation, for re-establishing order and cleanliness.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Don't think you'll forget my name!!! Oh, what a divine blog!!! But I'll never like washing dishes...don't think it's in my genetic make up or something!!! Thanks for visiting Thoughtfully Blended Hearts!!!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Perfect and beautiful sentiment. We didn't have dishwashers when we lived in some really old historic homes...I loved looking out the window at the pear tree with a tire swing while I washed and dried...wondering how many many others did the same.

Loved this post!

Renee said...

I just love your blog.

You are the only person besides me that seems to like to wash dishes and all for the same reasons.

Renee xoxo

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Becky
Just popped over to let you in on a little high-tech secret... those streaky fuzzy images??? just move the camera. haha seriously... serendipity!! hehe Take care xx Julie

mise said...

Yes, putting things to rights is always wonderfully therapeutic. What a nice way to regard the task.