In this world of faster, bigger, better, even a geeka can get overwhelmed and need a break. (I hear the collective gasp of my sister geekas!)  Some find it in gaming, some find it in computer networking, and some brave souls find it in full contact sports.  While I enjoy all of these, with good books, music and movies thrown in for good measure, nothing compares to the Zen of doing dishes.  Let me explain.


     When I was a little geeka, I would often see my grandmother doing dishes, staring out into space with a look of utter contentment.  I never understood that.  Like most kids, I could think of no worse punishment that doing dishes or cleaning my room. I wanted to be going and playing and doing.  There she was, though, looking completely content with suds up to her elbows.  She always said that sometimes we had so much to do that nothing got done.


      Now, many years down the road, I have over-achieving mini geeks of my own.  One is in college now double majoring in Physics and Chemistry and has moved out on his own but I still have my female geeklet at home.  She just became a teenager and is involved in everything from dance to band to astronomy club to gifted classes to IT Support team to … you get the picture.  I work full time at one job and seasonally at another while tinkering with painting murals and bookkeeping.  I have a husband who is a Director of Environmental Services for a local municipality and runs several small wastewater facilities on the side. Add to that caring for a disabled mother and you have chaos. 


     But then there is doing the dishes… We have a dishwasher that has seen better days and so dishes are better off cleaned by hand.  I noticed an amazing thing while washing dishes — NO ONE runs into the kitchen offering to do them.  That’s right; it’s complete silence in the midst of the chaos.  I have time to contemplate the important things in the universe, to still my mind, and to listen to the little voice that reminds me who I am.  I’m lucky enough to live outside the city; my kitchen overlooks a field where horses play and where fancy chickens scratch the ground.  My back deck blooms in the spring and summer with my container garden and the fence is covered with vines. It’s stunning in all seasons.  I had forgotten that…I had forgotten the beauty of what is around me.


    I have realized that true beauty is most easily found in the mundane.  We live our lives in such a tizzy — always wanting more power, more action, more technology — when what we really need is to step back and to do the mundane, allowing our minds to wander along forgotten paths and our souls to breathe and take flight.  We all need that silent place where the chaos cannot invade.  We all need the Zen of doing dishes.