Hung Out To Dry

It’s terrible to watch this struggle that is going on between people, money, and our environment.  It’s happening at Standing Rock, and it’s happening here in Florida.  I’ve felt this strong desire to refrain from consuming fossil fuel energy as much as possible.  One way I have begun striving for energy independence is by getting rid of our dryer and line-drying the laundry.

It’s a small thing, but already I am amazed at how much energy we were using to dry our clothes.  And the clothes have never smelled fresher – like clean cotton and sunshine – real fresh laundry, not the stinky perfume smell we’re told smells “fresh.”

Fresh, clean clothes, and less of an electricity bill – but there’s some work and forethought involved.

For a long time, I thought it would just be too overwhelming to hang laundry to dry.  There are five of us, and we make a lot of laundry!  But when I saw what was happening, not just with the pipelines, but also the gulf oil spill and the strange weather patterns we have been experiencing, I realized that if there was something – a simple thing, that I could do every day….maybe it would be inconvenient sometimes, but what if that could mean that there is a future – not just for me, but also my children  and (dare I dream?) for my grandchildren?  I decided I would do it…despite the work and forethought, I’ll do it for all of us…and not just for me and my children, but you and your family, and the people, animals, and plants we love and share this world with.

Everything tells us that convenience is what we want.  Things have to be thought out for us, ready even before we know we want them.

Knowing what I do about growing things, I know this is a strange way to live and think.  Everything we have now comes from what has gone before.  What is sown is later reaped (not to mention the careful tending in between).  Eggs…chickens take six months to begin to lay….milk…two years at least to get milk from a calf….vegetables…planned the season before…fruit trees…it’s already too late to plant them…the cotton of our clothes…who knows how many seasons ago it was grown, bloomed, harvested, processed.

And I have found this way of hiding the forethought conceals our real wants and needs from us.  Indeed, you can hardly look anywhere without seeing something telling you that what you need, what you want, is something you buy.  That true happiness, real life, is something that must be bought.  For years I have struggled to see through this, to know what true desire is.

Fresh air and sunshine, and work and forethought….so much better, and yet it doesn’t come in a bottle.  And it’s free.


hanging laundry

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