May 30, 2013

Mindful Washing [By Merridy Pugh]

Washing is one of those inescapable chores to be endlessly repeated until we die.

We wash our clothes, our dishes, our bedding, our floors, and our bodies.

More often than not it’s a nuisance, a drag, a bother, and downright tiring.

So I try to practise mindful washing. Like this:

Mindful showering

I savour the luxury of water flowing freely from the showerhead. The luxuries of heated water, of drinkable water. The fragrances of soap and shampoo, the sensation of suds on skin. The texture of toweling myself dry.

I look at the shells, bath ducks and blue walls of our bathroom. Showering here is like being in a little aquarium. I enjoy the apple green shampoo bottles. I enjoy the soft bathmat underfoot, and enjoy hanging it back up with its crocodile head facing neatly outwards and its tail facing the wall.

Mindful washing up

I wash up without gloves. I like to feel the hot water on my hands. I like to wash the way my Dad taught me: the glasses first, then the cleaner dishes, the cutlery, and finally the messy stuff. I take a moment to look at the view out of the window. I am glad to be washing up in a fine sink with hot and cold running water and soap that squirts out of a bottle.

Mindfully hanging out clothes

This is my favourite, especially if the day is warm and sunny. I enjoy my gorgeous homemade peg bag, which I hang at one end of the line. I enjoy the bright yellow washing line. I listen to the birds. I like my bright orange laundry basket.

I hang my clothes in rainbow order. I like to see the light shine through the fabrics. My striped socks I hang in pairs. Then all day long when I go outside, I appreciate this ephemeral arrangement of colour and texture.

My neighbours enjoy it too. One of them told me to photograph my washing, so I did.

First published on   
Find other pieces by Merridy Pugh at

Image, Duvet via flickr

1 comment:

  1. Merridy - this is a beautiful piece. I love your mention of the washing up lessons learned from our elders. And as an unemploymentista - where washing is concerned - I'm not so time-poor, so mindful-washing can serve the basis for other mindful activity (like mindful houseclearning - oh where do I start?).