Are you familiar with Stephen Covey? That guy was a phenomenon back a decade or so ago. I read 7 habits of highly effective people, and first things first and several of his other titles. I was required, as a manager, to read specific books for the betterment of the organization. I don’t know if the organization was bettered, but I learned things from the books regardless.
I took with me the idea of The Law of the Farm.
Simply put, the laws of nature…of the farm…will not allow you to procrastinate and put things off to the last minute. You cannot ignore the fields and then at the last minute plant your seeds and expect to harvest your crops the next day. It simply doesn’t work that way.
I have friends and blog-friends who homestead and their lives certainly prove this point. It is work. It is daily, intentional, specific work to run a farm…or a homestead…and expect it to support you.
So much of our daily lives (outside farming or homesteading for one’s existence) allows us to ‘cheat’ — allows us to put off to the last moment, and then cram, and hope for acceptable results without required effort.
But the law of the farm will out. There are things in life that depend on continual effort. There are times in life where one must adopt a ‘long view’ and work at it.
So, comes my idea of ‘the law of the clothesline.’
There are many things we left far behind in Indiana that I have missed. Friends top the list, of course. Then there is our awesome family doctor…boy do I miss him, his wisdom, his serenity. And there’s my clothesline.
During our time in Bethesda I was trapped into a ‘no clothesline existence.’ Our teeny, tiny balcony could not support a clothesline, even if they hadn’t been prohibited. So I used the teeny, tiny dryer.
And though using a dryer is expensive — both budgetarially and planetarily — that wasn’t the worst of it. Using a dryer allows me to cheat. It allows me to put things off to the last minute. It allows me to stay removed from the natural rhythm of life.
So the law of the clothesline isn’t about rules and limits. It’s about being in tune with one’s natural environment. When you are placing items on the line, or taking them off, you are in the environment. You are squinting because the sun is in your eyes; you are stopping to see the hawk overhead; you are feeling the breeze.
When you use a clothesline, you are also becoming in tune with the weather. Is it going to rain? Are those clouds gathering? Is the sun so bright that I can put another load out soon? Will it rain later this week? and if so, should I do a load or two now?
So using a clothesline helps to reorient me to the natural flow of life.
I am more grounded and present when my laundry is air-dried.
Not everything is rebalanced within my spirit yet — but this is a good start.