As I sit on my porch with my feet splayed around my bucket full of laundry it brings to mind a couple of things.
Number one, and most important is the state of my feet. I don’t think about my feet much; that is until my ingrown toenail starts to hurt. Looking down I realize I must deal with them, soon. Living in Mexico, walking around barefoot, wearing flip flops, does not lead to pretty feet. If one has a budget, one can get cheap and good manicures here but if one doesn’t have a budget, like me, one does one’s own. I usually reserve a good portion of one Sunday a month for just that purpose. Judging by the state of my toenails, I seemed to have missed a few months.
After deep contemplation on the subject of my feet, I return to the task at hand which really was first and foremost, laundry.
Who does not enjoy submersing their hands into a bucket of soapy water? It is very sensual and I find it very meditative. I can conjure up all kinds of images that deal with slippery and soapy….but they don’t necessarily relate to laundry. I’ll save that for another time.
Aside from that, my question is? Does laundry really have to be a chore? I guess if you are a mom with babies or kids, or have a partner who goes around dropping socks everywhere, it’s a big one. But for single folk like myself, it needn’t be. Granted, things like towels and sheets need serious agitation. Not the kind of agitation when we are pissed off, but the kind of agitation that doesn’t come easily in a bucket. I should know. I washed everything in a bucket for 5 years when I lived in Barbados and that was neither fun nor meditative. It was grueling hard work which brings to mind my life here in Mexico.
When I lived in Boca de Tomatlan, one of the first lessons taught to me by my buddies Isis and Emily was how to do laundry the Mexican way. Words can not describe these lessons so I have opted for some photos..I’m sure you will get the drift.
It’s all about how you hold your face…..And here we have the finished product.
Once they were satisfied with my progression in the laundry department, they proceeded to teach me how to clean. Everything becomes so simplistic in the eyes of a child.
I don’t know what I would have done without those lessons.
Probably begged my landlady for the use of her washing machine. With help from my young friends, my house became much cleaner, and so did my laundry!
When I see washing machines filled with nothing more than a couple of tee shirts or a towel or two, it reminds me of the many families in Boca who still carry their laundry to the river in 5 gallon buckets where they scrub it on the rocks of the river. This was another wonderful way I spent Sundays, watching the women while they laughed and visited back and forth with each other. In that moment, it’s not so much of a chore for them, but an opportunity to gather with friends, share a laugh or two and watch the kids play in the river.
They don’t know or care that they are leaving ‘a smaller footprint’ or that they are conserving electricity and water. They only know it’s the way of life for them in that moment, albeit a hard one.
I have a washing machine here in my new apartment, but I choose to reserve it for the ‘hard’ stuff, the sheets and the towels. I like the feel of my feet splayed around the bucket with my hands swirling and squeezing in the soapy water.
The hour of mindless meditation is good for my soul.