Domesticity

A common definition of domesticity: Home life or devotion to it.

I had a friend tell me that I am the most domestic person she knows.

How the hell did I end up here with a broom in one hand and a shovel in another?  I, who vowed to never have kids, likely never marry, and certainly not stay home.  I went to a prestigious women’s college that oozed the sort of feminism that leads you to a law degree, political office, or a life of academic study.  I imagined a future in academia, perhaps research, but not one of scrubbing pots and growing peonies.

Growing up, I loved having a stay at home mom, but honestly thought she was insane to do it.  I was certain that was not what the future held for me.  I thought the world was big and to make a wave in it you had to throw yourself into it. Make a splash.  I confused importance with recognition for a long time.  I was inclined to relentless work to achieve public goals.

This could be book long post that explains the most central theme of my life, but I’ll make this the short version.

This is what I know to be true right now.  Life is not about a position, but a passion.  I have many passions I have uncovered, but what they come down to is this:

For me, life has meaning and worth when I truly live it.  When I immerse myself in the ebbs and flows of the natural world.  I think our culture is a hamster wheel of consumption meant to numb us into forgetting about what we are missing.  The simpler I make things and the more time I spend doing good physical work, the more clear life seems.  The meaning of life is to love and to learn.  I do that every day.  The more I do it, the happier I am.

I often have guilt about my extraordinary good fortune.  My husband and I made choices and followed our hearts and worked like crazy people to get to a place where we both love what we do and are now bringing the farm and the restaurant together in ways we never could have foreseen.  I know there is more than good fortune at play here, however.  Plenty of bad things have happened to me, to us.  Dark, terrible tragedies.  We have chosen to move on and recognize the blessings all around us.   Savoring and celebrating life is an important part of living it.  The splash you make in the world starts inside you and you can radiate it to others.

I have the greatest gig in town.  I get to spend time at my daughter’s school every week teaching 5-7 year olds about gardening, botany, environmentalism, and nutrition.  I’d rather be involved in this “domestic pursuit” than anything else I can think of.

One of the ways I express my love of my family and my place and my life is by keeping house.  I enjoy it for the most part.  A lot of life is folding clothes and preparing meals.  A small price to pay for a wonderful life.  Yes, I have days where I think if I have to clean the kitchen one more time, I will go insane. Then I get over it.  I have a great cleaning lady that comes once a week and gives me the great satisfaction of knowing that someone’s got my back as I navigate my weeks of numerous domestic and business chores as well as creative and passionate pursuits.

I just came in from evening chores.  As I put my gloved hand on the weathered barn door, I got a sense of deja vu.  Like I had done this some other place, some other time.  Like it was the most authentic moment of the day.  It feels to me that there is an energy that runs through everything on this farm that recharges my batteries. Doing evening barn chores was one of the best moments of my day.

3 Comments on “Domesticity

  1. What a lovely post. I didn’t know you had a blog. I really enjoyed reading this. It’s inspiring. I agree about missing the rhythms of the natural world. It is something I regret and hope to remedy.

  2. Such a nice post…I love finding satisfaction and as you pointed out–passion in what I’m doing. It’s sometimes hard, staying at home and planning meals, cleaning, etc. It isn’t glorious to many people, but to those little people in my home it makes for a secure life and a happy home. I do hope for a little more space someday to enjoy the natural world more like I did growing up. I appreciate your passion for it. I get endorphins just driving out of town where I can breathe a little more easily! Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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