Yesterday I posted that fantastic Thomas Moore quote about the significance of the “ordinary acts” of our every day lives at home. In the comments, Juliana wrote this:
The list does go on. She inspired me to actually write down some of my own ordinary acts, the ones that seem so simple, but somehow have soul-importance…
Kneading pizza dough. Or stirring cake mixes. There’s something very meditative for me about baking and the simple actions of it, especially when it’s a recipe I know well. It relaxes me, relieves the tension that builds up in my shoulders (kneading bread is very good for that!) and gives me that small sense of accomplishment as the room starts to fill with the delicious smells from the oven.
Doing the laundry. This might sound a little crazy, but laundry is a chore I actually really like and so Rasmus has generously permitted me to do most of it in our home 😉 There’s something about the process of making things clean and fresh again that is so satisfying. Folding a mound of clean clothes often feels very meditative.
Showering. Yes, it happens every day, sometimes more than once (you’re relieved, I know). Actual cleaning only takes about a minute and a half, but I’ll usually stay in about five minutes, it’s just such a pleasurable experience. I tend to be on the cold side (always always cold feet, even in slippers) so the feeling of slowly warming up is delightful.
Making tea and coffee. I prefer coffee to tea, but in the last few weeks tea has become a more regular habit for me, and I’m enjoying it. The simple process of boiling the kettle, getting out the tea or the coffee (especially now I have a sweet new tin for all my tea bags) and adding sugar (always). And because you can’t drink it fast if you value the health of your tongue. Drinking coffee and tea almost always means slowing down, at least for a moment, and that has huge value in my day.
Cooking dinner. It’s long been a habit of our marriage to cook dinner together. That doesn’t mean we’re both doing the cooking, but nearly always we’re both hanging out in the kitchen, one acting as head chef, the other as available helper. Usually there’s a glass of wine involved. It’s our time to debrief the day and it’s so important to me.
Recycling. Does that sound strange that I think recycling has soul-importance? I really do. It’s easy to do – the paper and glass lives under the sink, the plastic and metal in a bin under the counter. It is almost quicker than putting it in the regular rubbish bin, but it’s a simple thing that reminds me of my responsibility to be a steward of the world, not a destroyer. And it makes me aware of how much we’re consuming and where it might be too much.
Tending my plants. A while ago I told you about my new plant purchases, and about the feeling of watching them grow. Well, true to form, some have died already. But my tomato plants, my chilli plants and my herbs are doing amazing! I feel a little like a mother, putting them out each day and then worrying about them if it gets too windy or it starts hailing. Watering them and bringing them in each night (we had a cold spell recently) is an ordinary act that brings a lot of joy.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, but I know there are more. I think I will try and watch out for them the next few days, because if they have such soul-importance, I want to be able to protect them…
But I’m curious, what are your ordinary acts that hold great soul-importance?