For this exercise, we each made a list, quickly, of things we are grateful for, trying not to censor ourselves but to write whatever came to mind. We then chose three to share with the group. (If we liked something offered by another writer, we could add it to our own lists.) Then we wrote, using items from the list. Here are some of mine: my husband, clean sheets, Lake Michigan, a hot shower, a car that runs.
The blessing of clean sheets. Someone said that to me recently: the blessing of clean sheets.
I love the smooth, cool feel of clean sheets, particularly when I have just showered. They feel, then, like forgiveness, like starting over, like possibility–but I had never thought to call them a blessing. Or to consider just how much goes into their preparation: there is the water of Lake Michigan, processed through the treatment plant below the bluff and the hands and minds of those who staff it, the hearts that keep them going; the pipes that run from the plant to my home a mile away, so that I can push a button on my washing machine to start a cycle rather than having to tote a pail that same mile; I appreciate the washer itself, a faux Maytag that replaced the text model of the first Neptune (i.e., the first front-loader, to the uninitiated) that I wouldn’t give up until it did, and the company that employed my husband for thirteen years and the company that brought us to this home a mile from Lake Michigan and the water that comes from it; detergent, developed, refined, and produced by the good people at Proctor & Gamble and sold in the clean and bright Martin’s (Martin’s Supermarket, count on us!; gasoline and money to buy it and a car that runs, traffic lights that allow me to turn left onto Washington and then Niles on my way home; and mostly, John, who always knows which is the short side of the fitted sheet, the hands that lift and tuck and straighten, and the years that make the task familiar.