Today I’ve been reorganizing my bedroom. This is a direct result of having more storage in our shiny new shed. It is a prerequisite of such activities that sheets, blankets, and any other soft furnishings not nailed down, must be washed.
The only thing I am willing to admit I miss about summer is sun dried washing. Unfortunately, by this time of year our backyard is shrouded in tree-shade until about 3pm where the sun dips under the fir trees and has a moment of brilliance, until it swiftly sinks behind the hills on the far side of Widder Lake
With my arms overflowing with bedclothes and other sundries, I negotiated the narrow trail that was all that was left of the hallway after the stuff to be relocated to the shed had vacated my room but wasn’t quite out the back door yet.
I plonked the load down on top of the dryer, got the water running into the washing machine next to it, and measured out the soap to get the whole operation underway, when I saw a forlorn little critter clinging to the side of the drum, probably freaking out at the sudden crashing waterfall threatening to obliterate it.
A friend of mine back in Oz, on certain occasions when she was feeling down, would say she felt like a lost sock in the washing machine of life. Referring, of course, to the single sock that inevitably shows up when you take a load of washing out of the machine, and that you can never, ever again, find the other one.
I suspect the wee beastie felt somewhat the same way as I gently nudged her into the shallow plastic container reserved for removing spiders from study windows and shower recesses, and carried her out into the soft autumn sunshine, hoping the warmth might revive her.
I watched as her little head sank lower and the pulse in her abdomen slowed and slowed, and slowed. Her wings were all folded in on themselves.
I wondered if she had flown her last mission.
There was nothing I could do. Her fate was beyond me.
I checked on her now and then over the next little while. She hadn’t moved.
I came out one last time before we closed the back door against the evening chill and …
I wished her well and hoped she had many more adventures before the Great Washing Machine of Life finally claimed her for its own.