The artist always has the masters in his eye.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Make the Bed

It occurred to me today there might be a whole lot more in this ancient act of housekeeping than I've given it credit for. I know the military, nuns, Quakers and all manner of Martha Stewarts have sung the praises of order for centuries. But other than the feeling of " there now, that's done" I've been making my bed for almost 5 decades on auto-pilot, oblivious to it's transcendant potential to lighten my internal load.

Now you should know I am decidedly and contentedly an unstructured girl
who thinks nothing of dishes in the sink, driving without a destination and living life without a plan. I've been lost in thought for hours, come at most things, if not backwards, at least sideways and if you drop by unannounced on certain days you'll see I also have no argument with an unmade bed. So what I'm about to say does not come from compulsion or perfectionism.

I think I've discovered

one of the best things I can do for my soul each day

is make my bed.

As a child I was disciplined to make my bed immediately upon rising, and never, under threat of punishment, was I to sit, sprawl across or in any way disturb it until bedtime. This is probably the reason I recall making the bed only once our entire first year of marriage.

But today I sensed a shift. Saw something new in the act. Actually felt a kind of glory in this old, simple ritual. There came a deeper purpose in all the tugging, measuring and straightening that went into setting this sacred space right.

Because much of the stuff of our lives gets twisted in a wad, comes at us disheveled, distressed - beyond our ability to control--

it just seemed to me a beautiful, soul soothing thing to hold in my own two hands
the complete power to smooth out the wrinkles, regain the symmetry and restore
at least this one tiny corner of my world.

In other words-

All else may be undone,

but at least my bed is made.


  1. I have literally said these very sentiments to my husband. The rest of my day may very well have been a wreck, but at least I've made the bed. Great post!

  2. I couldn't agree more.

    So the icing on the cake must be a bed made with clean sheets :)

  3. This is so well-stated and so right to my heart that I don't have to say anything else other than, "THAT'S IT! YOU'VE GOT IT."

  4. LeAnn Weiss-RupardAugust 19, 2010 at 5:58 AM

    Super thought Caron. We can always count on you for a unique perspective! Said so eloquently!

  5. It's so good to have freedom to choose in even the smallest things- to be able to decide what we want to do, not what we are "supposed" to do.

    In many instances, I've found that freedom actually propels me towards discipline. I think that's how it's supposed to work :)

    Thanks for sharing!