Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A place for everything

It needs some love, certainly not shaker but
this baking counter is a purposeful place in
my kitchen.
I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, it has been so busy here.  Back in March I suffered a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach.  Only in this case it wasn't food that I was overdosing on, it was commitments.  I signed up to be the Fun Fair coordinator for little L's school, then I thought I'd like to add lots of new ideas and make it a super awesome fair, then I thought we should go to Vancouver to see my friend's awesome kid in her circus arts show, then I thought it would be a great idea to join thousands of people all over the world in the first ever Food Revolution day, it goes on, just like this run-on sentence.

Everything has been going very well and if this rain will let up (oh please!) then Fun Fair on Friday will be super awesome and then I will reward myself with a hot bath and a glass of red.  But that is still a few days off.

What I have found in this whole process of madness is that
a) I think working mothers must be super heroes.  This isn't even a real job but enough has been happening that my kid had to go to school with his underwear turned inside out because I didn't get to the laundry.

b)Being involved in my kid's school has been such a rich experience and I have a much deeper appreciation for what can happen when parents band together to make a difference in their school.

c) I really don't deal well with chaos.  Well, I knew this before, but I know it even more now.

In the midst of all of this I have found myself wanting my home to be simple, uncluttered.  A place for everything and everything in it's place.  For the most part our home is a purposeful place with few doodads lurking around collecting dust.  But even still I find myself wanting things even more simple, even more pared down.  So I started researching the Shakers.   They are a really interesting group of people that are much more than their furniture.  They believed that everything in their spaces should have a purpose, that everything they did was a form of worship and therefore should be done well and with care. This is certainly the reason they have earned such worldwide respect for their craftsmanship. Their interiors were sparse, but beautiful and peaceful.  The design of their homes, communal spaces and furniture reflected beauty in the world without cluttering the visual or mental space of it's inhabitants.

I actually got a book out of the library called The Shaker Legacy.  It is such a fascinating and inspiring book and there is a quote that I have been mediating on all afternoon. "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new."  Why this quote you ask?  Well, as someone who loves creating and keeping her home, I can also find myself going around the consumeristic merry-go-round.  I want a simple space with good quality, beautiful things and yet I get inundated with all the beautiful things to buy.  I can't necessarily afford those things, but between lovely shops and House Beautiful, I can find myself in a state of discontent.  Yet it is so contradictory because all I want is a simple, lovely space.  What I love about this philosophy is that all this "stuff" that stores like Ikea and Winners can make so easily available, is, just that, stuff that we tire of and then want to replace.  And so here we have the throwaway world.

What would it look like if we chose simple, well made, purposeful things for our homes and left the extras at the store.  How would it affect our minds, our well being?  Would we move differently in our spaces?  Would it reduce our stress?  Have you ever noticed how calming it is to be in nature?  How we all breathe a little differently?  It's because in nature, there is harmony, everything has a place and nothing is fighting against itself.  Our homes can be the same way, if we chose.  It relieves the chaos of our lives and that of our children.  It just means we live with less, appreciate more and leave those discount stores alone.  There is peace in order and when everything has it's place, we find that we fit into that space all the more.


  1. love the quote - thanks for sharing!

  2. You're welcome, thanks for reading!