I started a new poem, with the same title as this blog entry, reflecting on how often the smallest things can light bonfires of thanksgiving in my heart. In this case, it was one of the last days that I was in Canada helping my daughter Catherine after her surgery. The freakishly early snow had melted, the two emergency department trips were behind us, baby John had been baptized, and I was helping to catch up on the laundry. It was a glorious day filled with sunshine--the kind we often take for granted in Southern California--and a respite for the Canadians from the awareness that winter lurked just around any corner. Catherine suggested that I hang the wash out on the clothesline she had in the back yard. I hadn't done that since I helped my grandmother hang clean laundry long ago when I was a little girl.
Somehow, the simple act of choosing one piece of clothing, from the long tall jeans of my 6'7" son-in-law to the tiniest little onesie of the baby, and clipping them to the line with the clothes pins, was meditative with the sun pouring down on my back, the contentment of knowing that my daughter finally was on the road to recovery, and that I had been able to help her when she needed me. It was a graced period of kairos--time outside of time--that I can slip back into when I need a point of refuge or just a peaceful moment in a busy day.