Yes. I have a lint bowl. It’s quite small and irregularly shaped. Actually, it’s from the first and only pottery class I’ve taken. It wasn’t the first piece I made (that “gem” went to my mother), but it’s one of the first few for sure.
This little bowl sits atop our dryer, and after each load, I put the lint in it. Or maybe I just set it there . . . or squish it on the top. It started out in laziness, really. The small trash can has a lid and is low to the ground and squeezed in between the dryer and the wall that has the broom and dustpan hanging there. Why twist and stretch every time I switch the clothes?
Then I realized that I liked watching the lint bowl fill up. The clean clothes these days have been dispersed rather quickly to where they need to go, but the lint . . . it fills up and becomes a little abundance of accomplishment, a monument of achievement. When I think it’s time to dump it and start over, I do, knowing I can watch it grow again.
It’s the little things, right? We are all working so hard every day to keep the wheels running smoothly. Whether we’re working outside the home helping some company/business/organization to thrive or working in the home to make sure those nearest and dearest to us are thriving (and chances are, all of us are doing both, whether we’re paid for it or not), we are all working hard. Sometimes we just need little signs to remind us that our work adds up. What we’re doing makes a difference.
I have a lint bowl. You might have a diaper pail, laundry pile, crossed-off checklists, clean dishes . . . who knows. Keep tally marks on a post-it if you have to. I’m telling you that you make a difference. The work you do is appreciated.
And you will always be loved more for who you are than what you do, anyway. So, as the card I received from a friend says: “be a beacon of fierce and potent love.” May my family always remember how much I love them. I know they won’t know how many times I empty the lint bowl.
I remember reading Anne of Green Gables in grade school, relishing in wandering down whatever tangent Anne Shirley would guide me. An introvert by nature, I admire Anne for her strength and ability to prevail through her consequences. Though we are opposites in many ways, Anne and I share much in common. Our imagination, love for literature and loyalty to friends are a few of the ties that bind me to Anne — especially her loyalty to friends.
I don’t pretend to offer an analysis for all the types of people there are and the relationships they can have, but from my experience, I’ve met some people who everyone they meet they love and call friends. Some rather reserve their love for after a relationship has been tested. Others of us meet people and quickly develop a kinship, a bond that is not easily broken, if ever. These are the bosom friends, “an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom (you) can confide (your) inmost soul.” Some of my friends have been elevated to this status, some hover near, and I suppose all the rest have the potential.
Undoubtedly it is our friendships that carry us through our journey when we can’t go any further or just need the encouragement. They shine a light for us when we can’t see the way. Most often, they hold a mirror to us, reflecting to us our innate beauty and vitality that we may be too broken to see for ourselves. For true bosom friends, though, the mirrors you’re holding for each other become empty frames. All that exists between you is what is real. Your soul is there to communicate with the other’s without any pretense or illusion. You both are individually and together part of the Whole.
The only way to celebrate your friends whom you know are special is to tell them they are such. Don’t put them on a pedestal; you wouldn’t want to be on one yourself. Offer gratitude for their existence and the gifts they bring to your life. Continue to be there for them as they are for you, no matter how near or far away they are. And love, purely and simply. Forever and ever.
(Happy birthday, Uta!)