... at the kitchen sink

Published on 07 Dec 2017
Kitchen with utensils

Like doubtless many older women, I find myself in the tedious situation of being in charge of most things domestic. This is doubly trying since I am a “retired” but still working (and commuting) professional. I am fortunate enough to have had the kind of education that instilled in me a passion for intellectual enquiry and a love of beauty, but that is a far cry, from my new routine entailing relentless cooking and cleaning up after a long day’s work.

To come to terms with this new life, I tried everything: a picture of St Peter Claver, “Slave of slaves” above the sink, next to it, the Prayer for Generosity “...to labour and to ask for no reward….”, prayers to help me accept my situation, the Sacrament of Reconciliation… And the saintly and beloved Jesuit who used to write to me and console me had died.

And then the awareness bubbled up. Decades ago, as part of professional development, I had heard that mindless time could be harnessed.  I had not paid particular attention. Since then, I have been baptised and the notion is now crystal clear. This seemingly “dead time” of mindless tasks is in fact a divine gift at my disposal, a time to find God, to reflect on our encounter, to later put it into writing.