Sunday, September 28, 2014

THE WASHING LINE.

Most days the washing line has nothing on it. I cannot help but look at it; my eyes are drawn like a magnet to the empty washing line.  A pang of sadness hits me.  For over a quarter of a century, when I saw washing pegged on the line, even if it was raining, blowing a gale or the weather seemed grim,  I knew that the day would improve and that my own washing would be able to be put out later  to flap about in the air to dry. 

My neighbour would be out early morning pinning her laundry on her washing line. In bad weather she wore  a coat with a hood which was pulled over her forehead. Then she would go off to work.  She always got the weather patterns right. There were few days in the year when the flags of sheets, towels and clothes were not there.

Her husband and family were involved in the local youth football team training and playing leagues. At least twice a week there was a sunny backdrop of eleven or twelve bright yellow jerseys and black shorts drying off.  They'd be a credit to any washing product that a detergent manufacturer produced. What a great poster advertisement the football team kit would be, mud free, clean as a whistle and ready to go again.

When the grandchild came into their lives, the washing line was decorated with interesting baby clothes for the third time in its existence. This was in addition to the usual laundry and the football team's practice and match apparel.

Our neighbour died earlier this month. 

http://menhir1.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/living-in-a-neighbourhood/ 

Yesterday when I glanced over, I was happy to see  lots of  domestic washing pegged on the line.  It was comforting. Until it was no longer being actively used, I had no idea just how potent a metaphor for a life the washing line was.

11 comments:

Vincent said...

This is extraordinary, ZACL. Only a few seconds ago, I was commenting on one of Bryan's (BMW's) posts, and using the metaphor of a washing line for his creative process. See http://encyclopediaofsheep.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/of-poetry-roaches.html

PS the link in your post didn't work for me. I would have had to log into Wordpress as the piece's author, I think.

thehumanpicture said...

a very moving post

Vincent said...

& I meant to say also how vividly you had described the scene and how it affected you

ZACL said...

Hi Vincent,

Sorry about the link, try this:

http://menhir1.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/living-in-a-neighbourhood/

The Washing Line had been forming in my mind for some days, then I saw the 'explosion' of bright laundry on the line and it brought together my thoughts. Thanks for your comment.

ZACL said...

Thank you, Shimon.

flightplot said...

A somewhat poignant post which certainly brings back memories of my mum's washing line when I was a child. Flighty xx

godschool said...

A homely image made powerful by your moving reflection.

ZACL said...

I can imagine, Mr F, so many lost daily living experiences which, as we stride forward into our own lives they run downstream, past us. xx

ZACL said...

Hi Gilly,

Thank you.It takes a bit of getting used to. As my thoughts about the washing line crystallised, I had to write them. It is, perhaps, one of the more obscure epitaphs.

Snowbird said...

How beautifully you wrote this, so very touching and heartfelt, it almost seemed like the beginning of a novel. It's like describing somebodies life....I think your neighbour would have been really touched by your reflection.xxx

ZACL said...

Snowbird, thank you so much for your kind words.

xxxx