One Year (and one day) Later

So this little blog turned 1 yesterday. That fact didn’t occur to me until last night during a conversation on Facebook about what people were planning to do around a Reverb 11. Any of you who have been around this little blog for the whole year (p.s. I love you, all 4 of you!) may remember that my entrée into the blogesphere was prompted by the Reverb 10 projects. Last December I was greeted each day with an e-mail prompt intended to inspire me to reflect on the year that had been and consider what I wanted to manifest in the year ahead. Unfortunately Reverb isn’t running in the same way this year but a few kind souls have stepped into the breach. One of those kind souls is Rebecca of Relish Life. Rebecca is offering up prompts for Relish 2011 and I will be going along for the ride.  I may also mix it up with my own prompts or one or two from elsewhere around Twitterdom coz that’s how we’re gonna roll this year. 2011 has been another pretty transformative year with lots to reflect on and bringing much goodness to manifest for 2012.

1.  Perfectly Ordinary

Pick a random day, at any point throughout the last eleven months, and close your eyes. Try to imagine one single moment on that otherwise ordinary day. So much beauty and truth can be contained in the routines we create, the schedules we keep, the world we travel through, even when we are hopelessly unaware. Be aware now. See one moment with all your senses and connect to it now. What happened?

I am not the world’s best housekeeper. Sometimes it surprises people when I say this because my house is almost always presentably neat. That’s the key. Neat. I don’t like clutter and try to shuffle it to the areas of the house that I don’t see eliminate it but actual cleaning I prefer to outsource to a lovely woman named Evelyn. In thinking about routines and ordinary moments though, what came to mind is changing the sheets on my bed.

There’s a particular rythm to changing the sheets — bringing the clean sheets in from the spare-room closet and laying them on the floor beside the bed, stripping the bed and wadding the dirty linens into the laundry basket. Usually these tasks are done on auto-pilot and while I’m thinking of other things. Then the re-making begins and I shift to be more in the present and attuned to the task at hand. I have two sets of sheets. The fitted sheet of the grey set is *just* big enough for the mattress so it has to go on just right and requires some tugging and pulling on the 4th corner. The white set is the expensive set. It is generously proportioned and so very smooth. After the fitted sheet comes the top sheet. Borders are arranged and corners are folded (not too tight because my feet need freedom!). Now the duvet. Before laying it back on the bed I shake it to try to redistribute the feathers. This is often followed by sneezing as I breathe in the feathers that have been “redistributed” into the room. I line the duvet up carefully so that the pattern is centred and then turn my attention to the pillows. Stuffed and fluffed I arrange the pillows on top of the duvet and step back to admire my handiwork. There’s always some satisfaction in this job well-done. This restoration of the pretty, perfect state of my bedroom but there’s also a little something else.

At some point near the end of the job my mind flits briefly to settle on a point several hours in the future. I think about the exact moment that I will turn down the covers and slide between those freshly laundered sheets. I smile with anticipation.

I invite you to Relish along with Rebecca (and me!) this month.


About Debra Cowie

Debra is a photographer and visual storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. She is an explorer at heart, whose passion for photography was born in travel and has been carried with her to more than 30 countries so far. Debra is also an avid cook and baker and much of her current work focuses on food styling and photography in her serendipitously beautifully lit kitchen. She has flirted with Polaroid and 35mm film photography but her true love is her DSLR (aka "Boyfriend Mark").
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3 Responses to One Year (and one day) Later

  1. rebecca says:

    Holy moly this is awesome. What a beautiful moment you’ve made out of what seems so, so ordinary. I love your telling of this, its prose poetry through and through (and I’m not just saying that cause I’m in there!). I am bookmarking your blog in my reader, so next year you can count me as one of the ones who has been around for a while too. Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂

  2. Truly enjoyed your post. I too am not the best housekeeper and most of the time it falls to last on my list. I do like things organized though and to have everything in its place easily found. Yes very contradictory.


  3. Love this photo and accompanying story Debra. I would say I’m follower number 5 but I think I lost my place in line- I’ll be follower number 6!

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