A friend once gave me an 'end of the day' clay bead - a bead made of the remnants of all the beads that had been created that day.
She gave it to me when I was pregnant with my son, my last child, and was facing new motherhood for the 4th time. It was a fitting gift: as mothers, we are often the end of the day bead, giving from our remnants, offering leftovers.
At the end of the day last week, I threw a load of laundry into the wash. As I share in the poem, I was too damn tired to sort the laundry - and so I threw all of it in, together: 'end of the day' laundry.
I've sent 'end of the day' emails. I hope they make sense.
I've gotten in plenty of 'end of the day' arguments. Hmm...it would've been better to wait to have that discussion until the morning.
I have lots of 'end of the day' tooth brushing, and 'end of the day' flossing - I only hope that my half hearted flossing does its work. Poor teeth, they often get the very last bit of care from the day. Thank you, thank you dental floss!
This time, my 'end of the day laundry' left me a surprising gift - pink tinged towels, pink tinged jeans, and pink tinged cloth napkins.
That pink tint - courtesy of my new, beloved purple pants - had a deeper message for me, which I've written about in this poem, Sorting Laundry.
I can't help but wonder: what gift awaits me, today, here at my 'end of the day?'
Sorting Laundry by Karly Randolph Pitman
When I washed my last load of laundry
I was too tired to properly sort the colors.
So my new dark purple pants went into the tub
with my white jeans, cloth napkins, and
even the bulky towels.
The jeans, the napkins, the towels
are now tinged a faint shade of pink –
like the imprint of a lover's kiss.
I bought the pants this winter
to replace my favorite pants that no longer fit.
My body, like all bodies,
like all living things, ebbs and flows.
The illness of the past three years
has given me a body I did not, at first,
recognize as my own.
My new pants hold this body in love.
They cradle the thicker belly
and widened hips with ease.
I feel cherished by their comfort –
their bright purple color –
the deep pockets that hold my tissues and my keys.
They are not fat pants.
They are compassion pants.
They are mercy pants.
They are menopause and ageing pants.
They are illness and recovery pants.
They are joyful pants.
They are happy pants.
Now my life is tinged by the love in my pants.
This love touches me when I wipe my hands and mouth
after eating my favorite toast, dribbled in nut butter
And when I dry myself off after a warm shower.
That love, like all love,
seeps out of its container –
a particular pair of purple pants –
and it overflows, until there is
nothing it does not touch,
nothing it does not bleed into,
nothing it does not leave better from its care.