Last night I washed the dishes left over from lunch. I washed them quickly at first, since washing dishes is such a boring task that has to be done every day. Long ago, it seems, I had determined that a chore like washing dishes held no real value, except in the clean dishes maybe—but in the act, the act of washing dishes there was nothing valuable.

To wash the dishes I turned on the water until it was warm. But while the water was flowing I placed some of the dishes, including a bowl and cutting board, in the sink so the water would run into them and start the cleaning process. I have a spray bottle loaded with a mixture of Dr. Bronners “All One” soap and water, that when shook creates instant suds. This I use to spray the dishes. It makes one bottle of soap last a few months.

As the water began to warm I did feel that I was in a kind of hurry. I was rushing to get the dishes done. Then I smelled the good scent of the lavender Bronner’s soap, and also the warm water on my hands. And I started to wonder why I was in a hurry. All I had to do after this was go to sleep. There was nothing to rush to, unless it was bed, which doesn’t usually end up very restful if rushed. Sleep can’t be rushed, for example. It takes a set amount of time for the body to recover each night. I realized there wasn’t anything to hurry-up towards, so I slowed down washing the dishes and washed each one very carefully. As I write now, I even remember what each dish looked like.

As the days spread out and slowly warm, birds have appeared on the rear patio. When money wasn’t as tight I walked down Agua Fria to buy seed for them, putting it on a worn out stand someone had put up long ago. The plywood platform was cracked and feathered from years of rain, snow, and sun. But the canyon towhees, spotted towhees, sparrows, wrens, and one thrasher enjoyed the seed all the same. Now that we have no seed to offer, the birds eat seeds from weeds that we let grow and die last summer. And they bathe and drink out of a ceramic basin Anna made that I set on an sumac tree stump. I am glad we neglected the patio and let the native weeds grow, because now the birds have food. Yesterday I saw several eating buds from the apple tree. They didn’t destroy the whole bud, though. They just took a little bite off each one. And when they drink water, two sips is enough. Yesterday I tried some of an apple bud. It was slightly bitter and sweet and tasted like the finest summer salad you can imagine.