On housewives, birds and life

A housewife’s work is never done, so they say. I would like to tell them that that isn’t the end of the story. A quick, smart sentence summing things up. Or so they think. But surely they’ve missed the second part of the sentence: ‘And that’s what makes it beautiful.’
I get so many chances at life. One pink wash makes me better, one wrongly bleached surface makes me better, one burnt meal makes me better. And I get to wash and clean and cook again. I get to work hard at beautiful things and I don’t even have to leave the house to do it.
Sure, it feels small. And, sure, in one way it is small. But doesn’t God himself tell us that if we are faithful in the small things we will be entrusted with big things? Every time I wash, every time I clean, every time I cook, I make baby steps forward, I cover tiny pieces of ground. And those baby steps, those tiny bits of ground matter. They are the building blocks for bigger things.

A tiny, brown bird hops along the wall outside my window. His head is tilted, his gleaming black eyes watching. I stay as still as I can and stare at him. He stops hopping and stares back. Here we are, two creatures observing each other. With a flick of his tail and a flutter of wings, he disappears. Where to? I don’t know. It’s Spring. Perhaps he has a nest to feather, a worm to take back to his family. He has his song to sing. So different and yet so similar to mine.
Experts estimate that there are 100 billion birds on this planet. All singing their songs. And 7 billion people. All singing theirs.

And so it continues. Life, with its seemingly random pattern. Twisting, jumping, flying, diving, soaring. You can’t predict the ups and downs. You know they’re coming but, like a rollercoaster, your stomach still does roly polys in both the steep climbs and the sheer drops. Patterns, colours, textures, noises all whiz by. You strain your ears to hear, stretch out your hand to touch, open your eyes to see but only manage to hear, touch and see a tiny part of the Glory that has gone before. And it’s gone. At the speed of light. Or perhaps even faster. And all you’re left with is the lingering last moment before the light goes out.

But that seems defeatist. And no one wants to be defeatist. At least, not anyone who truly wants to live. Life tastes good. Life sounds good. Life looks good. Life feels good. There are flowers and cakes, cups of tea and comfy armchairs, good books and clever sitcoms, people to talk to and children to play with, beds to fall into when you’re tired and beds to fall into when you’re in love, the smell of roast beef and the taste of roast potatoes, snowflakes and sunshine. And the list goes on. You have your list and I have mine. Our lists might have the same things on them. They might be different. But they are both celebrations of Life, glimpses of Glory, lyrics of the Song, brush strokes on the Picture. And for that I’m grateful.

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