Wild Laundry

I love hanging my laundry out between squalls. The uncertain sky seems to be full of old songs and wild white dream wings. When I bring the clothes in again, they smell like magic. They rustle in my arms, still restless with hill-tossed wind.




Besides, when you hang your clothes outside, whether on a line, a rack, or over bushes, you get them more than just dry. There's always a certain fragrance to them, a spice of rivers and neighbourhood roses and pine. There's a weight that feels as if they have grown a skin of sky.




I love also the vulnerability of line-drying laundry. Spreading out the sheets you sleep between, the petticoats you wear beneath dresses - opening that sacred private space for the air to touch, and breathe upon, so that when you lay the cloth once more against your skin, you feel as if the air is touching you too. Seems to me that line-drying brings us more into the real world.

I was walking home today and watching the horizon darken, and thinking that I might not be able to get my laundry done although I really needed to. But I knew I would try anyway. Because what I love most is the time inbetween. Watching the sky and wondering about rain. It's in that space that I spread my soul out, in vulnerability and hope, to the air that is full of wind and dreams and stories and god.




Sharing with A Wise Woman & A Delightsome Life. Also may I recommend to you Leonie Wise, she takes such beautiful photographs. And for a little charming delight, Kristen Booth, who specialises in fairytale wedding photography.




13 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Sarah. I love the photos. I don't hang mine out, because they end up stinking, and sometimes they are even dusty when they are done drying. I don't use any scented products, so that's is not the reason. Since we are landlocked it might be why, but I don't recall my mom's laundry smelling funny, and I lived not too far from here for quite a bit of my youth, but it is a busier area of town than where I grew up. I do hang up dresses and lingerie in the house, but that doesn't quite have the appeal. I loved seeing the laundry hanging in the Alps.

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  2. Oh yes, I love, love, love, wind dried sheets.

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  3. So beautiful. As I read, so vividly did I imagine your words that I swore, just for a second, that I really was out with you and your magic laundry in the wind.

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  4. I miss having a clothesline. I keep thinking that I should set up a new one. It has been over five years since I have used one.

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  5. clotheslines are the best. clothes dried on a clotheslines are the best. love this.

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  6. Elizabeth WaggonerApril 16, 2015 at 4:08 AM

    There's no smell like line-dried clothes - nothing as fresh. No matter how hard people try, they can never quite capture it in sprays and candles and room scents. I have no line where I live now - but I hang clothes on a rack and stand it next to an open window in the sunshine and like you - wait for the magic to happen.

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  7. I love this so much, Sarah. Someday I'm going to do my laundry this way. <3

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  8. Just beautiful... from a lover of clotheslines too.

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  9. There's very few things more pleasurable than sheets dried in the windy sun. And I love the looks of a pretty clothesline...there's something so comforting about it. I can't wait to put up one here at our new house. There was an ordinance against them back home...I never could get used to that.

    Your photos are gorgeous...are they of your home?

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    1. Sadly no, this is not my house. I took the photo while on holiday some time ago. I knew eventually I'd write a post about laundry! :-)

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  10. Oh I love drying my clothes outside. I love the smell of fresh air, of wind. I also love to watch the sky, the darkening of clouds, the mixture of sun and rain. This was beautiful to read, thank you.

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  11. Perhaps you were taught, as I was, that sheets are to be hung farthest to the outside line (where others can see them) while underthings are hung between sheets and larger items lest passersby see them. Still feels fun to break those rules.

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    1. Yes, I was taught those rules and others about peg placement etc. I will admit to breaking the peg rules with distressing frequency. I once had a flatmate who loved beautiful lingerie, and once a week she would hang it all in the bathroom to dry. This was in a flat of mixed genders. I always felt she was trying to send a message about herself by doing that. The most delicious thing about lingerie is that its beauty is hidden.

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