Otherwise known in these parts as domestic arts. I am reading a deliciously inspirational book that articulates both in word and image what I feel on a good day about those tasks that we engage in daily, weekly, monthly, that help keep the household in order and in turn, our hearts and minds. The author (her name’s Jane Brocket) says it so much better than me, really. My case in point:
“The gentle art of domesticity is the felicitous application of practical skills to the spaces in which we live. It requires a desire to make instead of consume, a triumph of activity over passivity and a return to using our hands and imaginations rather than a reliance on screens and technology…”
So much freedom and abundance at our fingertips. Jane also insists that you don’t have to keep your house spic-and-span to be a domestic artist either. A tear just fell from thine eye. Thank you Jane Brocket for loving me just the way I am. And love your name by the way. It just oozes domestic artist of the English sort. Which I envy.
And so I have dabbled these past few weeks in some explicit domestic artistry not only in terms of how to creatively use my time as we wait for the arrival of our little one but how to “felicitously” consume the food already in the fridge and pantry instead of making my typical reflex run to the grocery. The outcome (besides saving some frozen hot dogs from their impending freezer burn death)?
I have become a zucchini bread MACHINE.
Which takes me back to my childhood, particularly to memories of going to my aunt’s house in the dry dusty mountains of East San Diego County and her slathering a nice buttery portion onto my own slice for me to enjoy as I swing on her outdoor enclosed porch. Aunt Bonnie, can you send me your recipe?
There are oodles of books that address the topic of abundance and scarcity, which I think speaks to the heart of the matter for the home economist, domestic artist, what-have-you. It’s not only about creative use of what we already have but also finding value and dare I say “joy” in the doing so. As one of my mentor’s recently pointed out, it’s not that buying or needing things is BAD but the virtue of discovering that really, we don’t NEED very much to be rich. This is some old wisdom. Nothing new. But wisdom that I always seem to gain in being reminded of.
There is something quite rich about making 6 loaves of zucchini bread out of one gi-NOR-mous squash from the garden. Or even specialer, a friend’s garden.
And also something rich in waiting I am learning. Even though it feels like you are doing nothing.