"I've always sought solace in cleaning: the repetition, the ritual of it, the opportunity to make where you are a better place, the bliss of just doing to do. During low points in my life, ironing pillowcases — a task that can be completed, and completed nearly perfectly — got me through rough patches," writes editor Alice Peck in the introduction to this stellar collection of writings on the sacredness of household chores.

We are big fans of everyday spirituality and the rituals and routines that go with it. The last chapter of our book Spiritual Literacy is titled "A Day in the Spiritual Life"; it includes short passages on washing your hands, sending the children to school, raking, eating pie, and so on. In this book, Peck finds sacred meaning in essays and poems on washing the dishes, doing the laundry, sweeping, housework, workspace, guests and holidays, and messes.

We were especially delighted by selections written by Thich Nhat Hanh, Pablo Neruda, Marc Poirier, Jeannette Batz, Louise Rafkin, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Bernard Glassman, and Rick Fields. Maintenance of our homes and our possessions is a spiritual matter and these essays serve as cogent reminders of this truth.