Life is like...

Forrest Gump suggested that life is like a box of chocolates.  I'd like to suggest that life is like washing dishes.  I thought about the metaphor this morning as I cleaned up a few dishes from the night before.

Sometimes, life is messy, and you need to get your hands wet to clean things up.

Some messes seem so bad, that you think letting them soak will do the trick.  It seldom does.  Instead, careful, persistent, hand washing is required.

After certain types of meals, no machine in the land is going to be able to make things right. Scrub pads, steel wool and lots of elbow grease are needed to work through the grime.

Life is never better than a sink of hot sudsy water on a cold winter morning.  Warm hands makes warm heart.  Effort, physical activity, doing the work, all make life better.

You have to believe that cleaning that grungy frying pan is possible, because at first glance you're going to think it's impossible, and the inclination to not even try is going to be significant.

You can't eat a good meal without making a mess.  Life is messy.  Live it, clean it, then embrace the fact that it's going to get messy again.  One cannot exist without the other.

"I actually like doing dishes," said my brother Greg when he was up visiting over the holidays.  As children, we took turns washing and drying every single night.  On big occasions, it was the men who took care of the dishes, led by my father and grandfather, with help from us younger kids.  We are now the adults, leading the way.

I like doing dishes, too.  I find it to be a grounding activity, something to settle the mind.  We have the added benefit that the kitchen sink faces the backyard, where I can watch the birds during the warmer months.  Even in the dead of winter, woodpeckers pop by to peck at the suet we have hanging from the treehouse.  If I didn't spend time doing dishes, many of those precious moments would be missed.


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