As the fullness of life in such uncommon times (exacerbated by the extra work required of me on our addition) continues to absorb much of my bandwidth, my mind stumbled back to a poem my wife wrote over a year ago reflecting on one of the most common occurrences of a common day: making the bed. Most mornings, my wife and I wake at the same time, and in the twilight of a new day when we’re barely awake, our words still locked in deep slumber, we rise, fluff the pillows, and together pull up each sheet and blanket, tucking them in behind the pillows, setting the teddy bear our younger son gave us in the middle of the now made bed.
Admittedly, I never felt the need to make the bed for most of my life. It wasn’t established as a habit in my home. It seemed a waste of time when I could snooze out another nine minutes (or more), especially when one would just mess up the sheets again anyway the following night. I’ve heard many anecdotal stories of just how important making one’s bed is and what that says about one’s character. But it was my wife’s careful pulling together of words and tucked-in images that left me with a deeper appreciation for such an overlooked habit of life.
As you read the following lines, may you gain a fresh appreciation of this fabulous reality of our daily lives.
Shared Ritual – Sarah Ingalls Anastasi
The predawn, rote motion of pulling
up the bedclothes
No shared looks, eyes still half closed
No smiles or laughs exchanged
But for the pause . . . the one courtesy
Waiting for the other to grab their
corner, straighten their side.
The reminder of shared ritual.
In a world stripped of communion
This moment, though not a bended
Knee or bowed head
Is full of a gentle, quiet together
Forty years from now still at this side
of the bed, rote motion, gathering
a corner . . .
What kind of change will it bring?
Slower, perhaps more awake, less
driven by time
Hopefully more reverence for . . .
This gentle, quiet of shared ritual.