As much as I put off doing dishes, there can sometimes be a certain kind of therapy in zoning out and looking out the window while the warm, soapy water scrubs everything clean and then gets washed down the sink. As I’ve been trying to spend less money eating out, and have been trying to teach myself to cook, I’ve dirtied a lot more dishes than normal in recent weeks and months. So often, after I plan and shop and chop and cook and serve, the last thing I want to do is wash the dishes. I yearn for a dishwasher, both for the convenience and for the storage – what a pleasure to tuck it all away after dinner and have clean countertops and an empty sink.
But that fantasy can be filed away with so many other “future life” fantasies I have for some future house and future version of myself. I’m stuck, at least for now, with washing dishes by hand. And I can’t even complain too much, since my roommate is a gem in many ways, only one of which has to do with her love of dishes. So often, when I’m dawdling on my home from work, dreading the pile that awaits me in the sink from last night’s cooking adventure, I come home to an empty sink, scrubbed countertops, and dishes in the drying rack. This is better than Christmas.
But on the rare occasion I get into a dish washing mood, I am thankful for our huge window behind the sink. As I wait for the water to heat up, I watch the sky change. As I set plates into the drying rack, I note the signs of the seasons – the broad autumn palette that’s just now starting to fade, the stark frosted trees I know are soon to come. And between rinsing, I examine the plants on the windowsill, the paper lanterns hung in the upper corners of the window frame, the way the light streams through the drying glasses. I try not to let the spots between the panes get to me too much – hopefully you won’t either. This is life. This is this house, which we’ve improved immensely in recent months but which will never be fully clean, fully spot-less (and certainly not spotless). And today, watching the light stream through the yellow leaves that won’t be around much longer, the spots are OK. I am thankful for clean, and occasionally even spotless, dishes. And I am thankful for Sunday, a day when I get to stop, think, catch up, write. And occasionally photograph the little daily moments that bring me joy.
One of these jade stalks just would not stand up – so I decided to give it a little help in growing stronger. After a couple of months, I think it’s finally getting strong enough to stand on its own.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back today. Maybe there’s even some little pleasure to be found in that “extra” hour.