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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hanging the Wash and Other Domestic Rituals

I have been thinking of late about the common threads in blog and Facebook posts among friends and acquaintances and those I follow.

I have more than one friend who used to write extensively about her work and entrepreneurial adventures, but who have of late gone more silent or taken to writing almost entirely about recreational pursuits -- trips to Florida, visits with family and friends, sporting events and fitness goals.

I have other friends who write at length about movies and tv programs which they follow. It honestly baffles me how, as a mature person, one can go totally fangirl or fanboy over comic book super heros, whether on the printed page or on screen.

And in contemplating these posts, I realized that I must, to many, seem totally boring and devoid of "real" interests, as many of my writings mention doing the wash and hanging it out, cleaning and organizing the house and other similar domestic chores, along with stories of fowl antics and garden successes and frustrations. In the view of the common culture, I guess, I "have nothing to talk about" since I am not "into" movies or music in a fan sort of sense, nor TV... nor even books, though I do watch a movie from time to time, tune into a TV program once it hits Netflix and read -- and occasionally even buy -- books. For me, though, they are digressions. The important things are what happen during the rituals of "everyday life."

I am honestly not big on Ritual -- the one with the capital letter -- despite being a Pagan of many years. Lifting a glass of home made dandelion wine to the moon, recognizing the quarters and cross quarters with an appropriate meal and activity -- most likely one that fits in with the (lower case r) rituals of daily life suffices most often for me.

But the lower case r rituals... now THOSE are the ones, in my mind, that count. It is from their repetition that the warp and weft of daily life are woven. The fabric of everyday life, as it were, is built from hanging the laundry, hoeing the row, washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. It is built from them, that is, if such tasks are tended with Intent and Consciousness, with a reaching back to the energies of our ancestors as they washed and hung, planted, tended and harvested, cooked and cleaned and swept. And if we put out the energies of thanks and connectedness with the Universe and the future as we go about our chores.

I am not a natural homemaker. I'd rather be knee deep in the garden or wrangling fowl or four footed critters, or even turning the produce of the garden and increase of the flocks and herds into food to sustain us through the year. The laundry and cleaning and organizing -- as much as it must be done -- is not something to which I naturally gravitate. It was with some concern and a bit of dismay, I must admit, that I first greeted Frigga when she came to me. A HEARH Goddess? Yeah, right... a hearth Goddess wants ME to work with her.

But as I learned quickly, Frigga does not just stay at home and tend the fires. She is not, as I once quipped, "your mama's hearth Goddess," modestly staying at home. This Lady I could easily respect, follow and learn from...

And I am thankful that she forgives. I still tend to be much more of a "long term variable periodic housekeeper" than She would like, but She has not left and I keep at it.

And so, yes, I do talk a lot about laundry. And I don't always make the larger connections when I write, but they are there regardless. The Ancestors know. The Gods know. And now you do too.