Cold. It is so cold. I realized this morning as I fed the horses in the dark at 6 am, and it was 0 degrees, that I was definitely feeling it more than I usually do. I’ve been worrying about Silk, who is getting older and has arthritis, but she seems to be handling it better than I am. I’ve been wishing that I could bring her into the house to be by the fireplace with me. Fortunately, she was happier in her stall than I was this morning. The fur under her blanket was very warm, and even her neck and legs weren’t the least bit cold to my touch. My fingers, on the other hand, were completely numb. All I wanted to do was get back inside my cozy house.
Yesterday, a friend posted a thought-provoking quote on Facebook by English writer G.K. Chesterton: "Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a person can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of set rules and set tasks."
I’ve been considering this notion, and while I don’t believe that the home is the only place of liberty or that I live in a world too full of set rules and tasks, I love the idea that my home is a wild place where I can experiment and indulge in a variety of self-devised adventures. I always wonder about people whose homes look like they are as devoid of personality as a furniture showroom or a photo from a home decorating magazine. My furniture may need reupholstering, and we need to de-clutter, but anyone who walks through the door will have plenty of art and unusual objects to look at that will tell them about this family. I love to go to someone’s house and listen to the stories that go along with their beloved, sentimental belongings. Even the word “belongings” has interesting implications of things that are cherished and included as expressions of our personalities.
So while I snuggle by the fire, wrapped in an old Pendleton blankie with my dog curled on the sofa next to me, I like dreaming about making new small expressions of art in my living room, bedroom and kitchen. One of the little gems that I recently added is a round, red felted rock that sits on the table in front of me. It has a story behind it, and I love to hold it in both hands, feeling the weight of the stone and the softness of the felt as a way to ground myself.
There are so many things that we do in our homes that offer us opportunities to explore and not get stuck in a rut. Last night, I cooked Indian food, and the spices smelled so deliciously exotic and added some welcome heat. The other day, I washed the floor with a geranium scented soap from Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, and it brought the scent of Spring in my kitchen. I’ve decided that if I’m going to cook and clean, I might as well make it enjoyable. I’ve only got one life. I don’t intend to let it be dull.