My husband used to share this ritual upon arising. Decided years ago by both of us as an act of caretaking a loving relationship, making the bed has fallen to me of late, as he’s up and gone, often shortly past sunrise.
These are the rhythms of our lives – the waking, pausing to reflect, the taking in of nourishment and the launching into what the morning holds. At the end of the day, there is no place we look forward to returning more than this comfortable, spacious berth. It is a place of retreat and sustenance; an unperturbable sanctuary.
This morning as I make the bed, I think how like a prayer it has become. Removing pillows to the floor; noting the faint white streaks of slaver, markings of deep slumber. Small marvel, all the years this man has laid his head next to mine; the warmth of bodies and breath in benediction to the night that liberates us into other worlds. As my hands run over the bottom contour sheet, smoothing out the pleats we have eddied into existence, I pick off small flecks of lint and curls of chest hair; smile furtively at tracings known only to lovers.
Tucking in what has pulled loose; snugging the top sheet to lap over the light summer blanket, hands smooth the surface like a memory. Small movements bear benevolence; small acts, in sum, cement meaning to our lives.