Sunday, March 21, 2021

SOL21 Slice 21: Beautifully made


I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2021.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

I sit near the window in my squishy comfy corner chair, with the early morning sun coming over my left shoulder, my feet propped up on the ottoman, pen in hand, and my journal open across my lap. This is my morning ritual, this is how I write. It is very quiet. I love the quiet. 

I am also aware of darting shadows and soft sounds of birds and squirrels.

Oh, yes, if I look up from my writing, I see a tidy bedroom, and my bed nicely-made. I have to make my bed; it's almost compulsive after all these years. To make my bed is to welcome the new day - what will this gift of a day bring? 

No, it wasn't a childhood habit; there was never an expectation to make my bed as a young girl. That would have been too much for my Mom, in the tumult of raising all five of us. No, that was never an expectation. I don't remember having any practice with it. 

Actually, I learned to make my bed in college, living with roommates in a triple, all of us wanting to have a 'welcoming room.'  When our beds were made, the room was company-ready, transformed to have plenty of extra space to sit. 

Funny to think of that time, when everything I knew and did and treasured fit into one tiny little dorm room. 

Oh my, that reminds me, this time, this guy . . . just as he got to the top of the stairs, he collapsed; we were the first room next to the stairwell, on the third floor; I was rushing out to meet a friend, and this man was collapsing in the stairwell. I remember, the stairwell door opened at the same time I opened my dorm room door to leave, and simultaneously someone screamed, a cry of "I think he's having a heart attack!" I threw open my door wider, and he collapsed on my bed. A blur of movement  - a woman called out, "Dad, Dad, Dad!," a student from down the hall raced in, sobbing, "Grandpa!," another dorm mate, a nursing student, rushed in and began performing CPR. Someone called 911. 

I remember standing in the background, frozen, useless, watching, noticing the crisp corners of the bedsheets, the straight edge of my floral comforter all along the side, the lump of pillow ensconced beneath his head, supporting him, and praying that he would continue breathing, to live, not to die in my bed, in my dorm room, this very moment. 

All I had to offer was my bed, and it was beautifully made.

Yes, I always make my bed.

This is a day that I don't know what to write. So, I simply share - the thoughts that came.

"A word after a word after a word is power."
Margaret Atwood


  1. Seems to me as though you found a center for a couple stories. I’m a bed maker, too. I’ve been making my bed since I was a teen, at least that long. It’s something I could control. Now it makes my home feel more comfortable, at least to me. I see your form bed and your home bed as symbolic of someone who cares about seemingly little things. I think it’s important to attend to such things.

    1. Today was full, my writing was blank - I set the goal to just play with words and landed here, strangely, on making my bed! Funny the way the mind works. Thanks, Glenda!!

  2. I grew up making my bed. As an adult I have a terrible habit of not making my bed (I blame this on my husband). I even bought a duvet hoping that it would be done quickly... but with the craziness of getting my family out of the door in the morning my bed is always forgotten. But rest assured on the weekends my bed gets a little extra TLC

    1. Thanks, Abigail! I bet that makes the weekends a little more special! It is crazy to try to make a bed with young children, but I know my boys always liked to hang out there, on top of the made bed. Funny!

  3. Maureen, what a memory. I love how your cozy writing corner, and your crisply made bed led to this memory and post. What a story and memory. You have told it beautifully.

    1. Thank you, Denise! I was trying to capture the wanderings of my mind when I slip down to write...

  4. Maureen, this sounds so vivid. You so skillfully wove together the thoughts of the day, making your bed, and this life-changing moment. It's interesting what we find when we just start to write.

    1. Thank you, Cathy! Yes, it is interesting what is revealed as we put words down...strange and wonderful!