When I was a little girl, my mom would hang the bed sheets on the line in every season, letting them dry in the sun and wind. She always took the time necessary to iron them, and I loved their crisps folds and how they smelled: a faint whiff of apples in the fall, and the delicate lilac scent in springtime. In the summer, they reminded me of berry jam; in winter, they were filled with the strong, safe smell of wood burning.
On “clean sheets” day, my mother always tucked the top one snugly under the mattress. I’d slip between the top and bottom layers, making just enough room for myself. The linens cocooned me into a world where I was sheltered, inviting me to revel in wonderful sensations; I was a princess for a night, a rescued damsel, or the queen of a beautiful kingdom.
To this day, I believe in the power of fresh linens. I indulge in crisp, cool sheets often, though not so often as to make the experience common. They grant comfort after a difficult day, hope of a better tomorrow, strength to the weary.
Tomorrow will come, and I will give life my best shot once again. I’ll be super-mom, I’ll make my boss look good. But for right now, my exhaustion reminds me once again of my vulnerability.
I just slip into bed. The light fragrance of just-laundered sheets stirs a settled feeling within me. The unexpected invitation to luxuriate in the moment is subtle, and I welcome it quietly, granting myself permission to delight in the now. I close my eyes and inhale the tasty silence. It inches from the pores of my skin to the depths of my soul, filling it with complete surrender. I am going to be okay.