Point of View

People_DesireeWilsonStory Desireé Wilson

The view from my kitchen sink makes washing dishes enjoyable. At the moment, my neighbor’s Bradford pear trees are blooming fiercely. Standing at the sink, I can see all 14 of them at once. Absolutely fabulous. Usually, I spy my first daffodil while standing at the kitchen sink, its brave yellow head bobbing in the February breeze. Those little stalwarts make me smile before I can catch myself. At the same time, I notice the leaf buds on the maple tree swelling to the point that they begin to blush. All winter they have been growing without my noticing. The buds are never late. The maple tree also houses two feeding stations for my feathered friends.

Throughout the winter, I observe from this vantage male and juvenile goldfinches jockeying for position at the feeders as they exchange their drab gray attire for brilliant yellow jackets. I have seen up to eight species of birds feasting at once. 

Closer to home, the sweet little violas in the basket outside the kitchen window bloom in an array of color. They are smaller than their pansy cousins, so I have to tippy-toe a little to see them when newly planted. Have you studied of the face of a viola?

The kitchen sink daily affords me the opportunity. Occasionally, while soaping spaghetti plates, the tree-fringed hayfield across the road becomes a stage set for nature’s drama.

Deep-hued stormy clouds gather behind the stand of hardwoods, threatening storm in the east. The western sky will counter with cloud break up resulting in bright late afternoon sun lighting up the trees. The effect can be breathtaking.

While I enjoy multi-tasking at the sink, my post is far from serene. You know the scene: answering the phone while jotting a must-not-forget on the grocery list while the oven timer sounds and the teenager erupts into the kitchen with a crisis while the oatmeal bubbles in the saucepan and the UPS driver is honking the horn in the driveway.

I am a proponent of efficiency. To get done everything I want done, I have to multi-task.

Out of curiosity, I checked with Mr. Webster on the definition. Multi-tasking came into use in 1966 to define “the concurrent performance of several jobs by a computer.” What? A computer?

So that’s why my multi-tasking is not as fulfilling as it ought to be, considering all I’m getting done. Computers thrive on multi-tasking; Homo sapiens do not. The kitchen sink teaches me to task myself in such a way as to be wholly involved. The humble chore of washing dishes frees my mind and senses, allowing me to take in the subtleties of nature framed by my kitchen window.

The limitations of four square feet of real estate has its benefits. I take on fewer tasks simultaneously and am able to meditate on nature’s sublime beauty, something too often denied efficient, productive people.

It seems to me my kitchen sink may be one of my truest friends, beckoning chores and responsibilities while offering a balance of quiet introspection and thankfulness for the moment at hand. Would that my kitchen sink could escort me in all my endeavors. She would help me resist the pull of all-consuming productivity.

It seems to me, in this age of ever-availability and efficiency quotas, we all need our own kitchen sink, complete with window and a view of quieter, calmer world.