It’s strange that a rope strung up between two trees could bring me such contentment. If the extraction of all the original clotheslines from pretty much every backyard in our neighborhood is any indicator, I certainly don’t think most people feel the same way. Or at least they’ve forgotten that they should feel that way. There’s just something about the simpleness of it. A row of sun bleached diapers fluttering in the breeze or a collection of Men’s pants almost as tall as me suspended by tiny wooden clips drying effortlessly in the sun. A baby kicking her chubby legs and cooing as she stares in wonder at the canopy of leaves high above our heads. A little boy squealing with delight as he plays peek-a-boo in between dangling sheets. My mind wanders as I move up and down the line touching on the deep and the trivial. The chirping of the birds and scrambling of the squirrels overpowers the distant whirring of cars on the interstate. Slow Down, the Universe seems to whisper.
During the winter months, I miss this. The dryer is an amazing machine. But, as warm and fluffy as it makes our clothes, it just doesn’t give me the same feeling. It shuttles its cargo around in a rush, beeping at me when it’s done. Workaholic. At the first sign of spring, Noel loops the rope around two of our yard’s loyal trees, pulling it taught with a Bowline knot on one side and a Tautline knot on the other. I standby with a basket of wet clothes, both of us waiting to soak in the sun.