I remember as a child the mounds of ironing my mother did, and when I was old enough to safely handle the iron, it soon became one of my chores. There were nine people in the household. Seven children, five of whom were boys. A lot of people don’t enjoy this task, but I always have. There is something soothing about standing over an ironing board, iron at the ready, and the pile of wrinkled clothing begging to be smoothed out.
I became a master at ironing shirts, in particular, and can remember many times being given the important job of ironing my father’s uniform shirts. He was an officer in the Air Force, and wrinkles were not an option. There is something gratifying about the stiff starchiness of a shirt perfectly ironed, sharp creases placed just so, hanging in an orderly row with the others, in formation, ready to go.
I prefer cotton to the ‘wonder fabrics’ of contemporary times. My skin can breathe, and it gives me the opportunity to contemplate what in my life needs smoothing out as I dance with the clothing, the board, and the iron. It is a great time to imagine working out the wrinkled areas of my life situations as I work out the wrinkles in my clothes.
I ask for guidance and inspiration if something is really troubling me, and usually – in the midst of the familiar rhythm of smoothing, spraying, and pressing, the insight just comes, and I smile.
Wrinkle free fabrics doesn’t mean a wrinkle free life. Perhaps we all should have a couple of cotton garments we can iron out on a regular basis.
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