In praise of the simple things
The quest to modernize, to make life easier, has truthfully given us much, but at the same time taken much from us. Invariably, the task savers, the short cuts and the innovations of modern technology have only shifted the burden from one place to another, usually with an added cost taxing the burden. Usually that burden has been shifted from people to the environment, where the ecosystem has paid for our advances. Its a case of out of sight, out of mind. If we don’t see the effects or feel them directly then the cost is non existent.
Take something as simple as the clothesline. A wonderful, effective and low energy device. It uses very few resources, is technologically simple, doesn’t need a complex set of instructions, warranty or need to be plugged into the household electrical circuit. It has functioned for thousands of years, needing only the benevolence of the weather, to accomplish a very important task; dry our clothes.
Was it more work to use. Yes, admittedly it required a bit more back bending and effort, and was slightly slower than the tumble, lint collecting, scented heaters that toast, roast and churn our modern day clothes. That is not to say that on a wet, cold dreary day a clothes dryer isn’t a modern marvel of convenience. There is a time and place where it does fit in and make life easier. But then on the sunny day with a warm breeze fluttering through the leaves, hanging out the laundry is an almost Zen experience, where you can almost reach out and touch the gentle solar photons and become one with the puffy, drifting clouds. I kid you not. It can almost feel that way.
When was the last time you chose to hang out the laundry, instead of throwing it into the dryer drum? Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go back to the days of hauling water from the creek and pumping it into a cistern, but there is a joy in the naked simplicity of the clothesline. It is truly a simple, effective marvel that should be in a hall of fame. It can be as simple as rope strung out between two oaks, or it can have all the latest plastic coated, galvanized non corroding steel wire on bearinged pulleys.
I wonder how many people have lost the simple pleasure of hanging out the laundry on a warm sunny day and then taking the time to feel the sun, smell the roses and listen to the buzz of insects nuzzling petunias.
Try it. The added benefit is amazing. When the lights go out at night and you snuggle under your comforter, between sheets caressed in the sunny breezes your dreams will sweeter by far that any you would get from the tumbled, scented, freshened, puffed, and cooked bedding. And you will have eased, ever so slightly, the burden we have shifted on to our beleaguered environment.
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