On Domesticity

I’ve been feeling domestic lately.  In a lot of senses of the word.  I feel like being home more.  I feel like tidying and being the “domestic help” and get huge satisfaction out of making my house neat as a pin.  I’ve been working on small projects for our home, like a quilt for the girls’ room and knitted dishcloths for the kitchen.  When I sat down to title images for this post, I mis-typed one as “domessticity,” which I think is much closer to how I usually function: the chaos is our norm, and we have learned how to function in and around it.  But these past few weeks, I’ve had moments of epiphany, moments of sitting with our children while we enjoy a quiet lunch and I am quietly happy.  Moments of knitting the evening away, and when the baby cries, feeling content to rock her, with no thought of anything missing.  Moments of deep satisfaction at the sewing machine, creating for my home and my family.

I’m always struck by how many women I meet who were driven to sew when they had children, or when they married and had their first home.  Something about building a life bigger than ourselves inspires us to nest and embrace the domestic.  I think there is a silent and ugly undercurrent that wants us to apologize for that, to feel lessened by it, to see it as constraint.  I don’t.  I think I did once, maybe, but there is no trace of that now.  I embrace it, am inspired by it, am spurred on by it to create and to bask in the renewal that creation brings.  I am having an extended moment, I suspect, and in it I am seeing that there is a cycle of which I am part: the feeling of wholeness brings the desire to create, which adds to the feeling of wholeness, and the warmth that comes with it makes me want to repay by creating something new, and on and on.  It’s not selling out, and it’s not giving in.  It’s something I think I’ve been searching for, and it feels deeply satisfying to have found it.

I think I might be growing up.

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  • Deanna
    July 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    beautiful post! I know just what you mean. I find myself just wanting to be in my house and making it fabulous too.