Our little cottage where we live has a kitchen that is just the right size for us. It doesn’t have a lot of counter space, but it is enough; everything has a place, and there is room for our little table with red chairs where all six of us can and often do sit down and eat together. Compared to my last kitchen, this kitchen is much more compact, and while I have all the necessary amenities, it lacks a dishwasher.
I’ve gone without a dishwasher before, but it was back in our newlywed days, before four kids. I didn’t think I’d survive this! But after two months in the new house, I don’t think I’ll be getting a dishwasher. I don’t want to sacrifice cabinet space for something that I’m starting to believe is unnecessary.
At noon on Sunday, there were a lot of dishes, since we’d just added our lunch dishes to the breakfast dishes didn’t make the cut before church. I gave a little sigh, because I was getting a little tired of doing so many dishes. But the kids and my husband pitched in, and soon the hot water was going, the dishes cleared from the table, and the food put away.
At one time, I only bought the cheapest, store-brand dish soap. Now I allow myself the name-brand stuff, with heavenly aromas. The stuff I have now is scented like pomegranate, and has a luscious color to match. So when I wash dishes, I breathe in the heavenly scent emanating from the bubbles. I look out the big window and appreciate the well-kept yard of our neighbor, Ted. I feel thankful that wherever we’ve lived, we’ve been lucky to have wonderful neighbors. Ted is no exception. If I can keep this up, this trying to frame dish washing as a time of meditation, a time for gratitude, a time to enjoy a moment of calm in the middle of our bustling family, I may never want a dishwasher again. Heck, I may even start to look forward to it!
That afternoon, all six of us busied ourselves to get our kitchen cleaned up so we could go and do something fun with the rest of our day. We worked together and bumped into each other and talked.
At some point, Ben, our 14 year old, picked up his guitar and started singing a little “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. As my 18 year old dried dishes, he joined in singing:
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the book.
Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs …
A glass, a fork, a saucepan. I’m finding my redemption in my little house. One dish at a time.