Monday, September 19, 2011

The Comfort of Work

I went to private school, growing up.  While everyone else in the 1980s was learning Michael Jackson and Madonna songs, I was reading c. 1880s Louisa May Alcott. This morning, I was thinking of a poem I remembered of hers which I probably was required to re-copy for a penmanship exercise (True story...I have lovely handwriting...a lost art in this modern world).  It seeped into the crevices of my mind back then and I enjoyed re-discovering it today as I settle into another busy week of making.

A Song from the Suds

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life
Will heart's-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
"Head, you may think; heart, you may feel;
But hand, you shall work always!"
Louisa May Alcott

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