Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Getting There...

"Yet all in order, sweet and lovely." ~William Blake

I'm still moving toward order, sweet and lovely. Steadily, little by little. I no longer feel a need to conquer the house, but to care for it gently. No hurry. Hurry seems to go against the point. Thinking about my grandparents recently, and how they went about their work with such relaxed cheer, confronted my own recent "take the bull by the horns" attitude. I gladly let go of that attitude because I'm just not a seize the day person, a pit bull who locks his jaws on a thing, is in control, and won't let go until he's finished. I get all wound up when I live like that. I'm not a warrior. I need to settle in, to move a bit more gently, steadily, little by little. My motivation is stronger and more lasting when it comes from love and gratefulness.

Because homekeeping is:

1. A sacrament. An offering up to God born of gratitude and a desire to please him. It's living my days in a way that reflects His own order and loveliness. Brother Lawrence said he turned his little omelette in the pan for the love of God. It's an offering.

2. A liturgy. Thanks to Kathleen Norris for this insight. It's an opportunity, through the over-and-overness of the daily routine, to have a quiet spirit. To have hands busy, heart and mind free for contemplation and prayer. It gives opportunity to find beauty and to develop thankfulness. It gives depth. It's a prayer.

3. An act of defiance. Against apathy, acedia, ennui, troubles, and all things that would rob from us the vision and joy of caring for others and the things that God has blessed us with. It's defiance against what would cripple us, pull us down, defeat us. When we want to cave in on ourselves, we carry on with our work. It's a defiance born of faith.

4. An act of hope, as
Andrea pointed out.

5. An act of love. For family, for home, for life, for God.

And it all moves us toward order, sweet and lovely. In our hearts, in our homes, in our lives. A reflection of God's love.

(Yes, the picture is of my clothesline, taken yesterday. Clean sheets!)