On my first day of work in this apartment without accompaniment from child or spouse or anyone at all, I oiled our wooden cutting boards and wooden spoons. It’s a job I usually leave to my children—a small Montessorian task of care and stewardship and attention that’s quiet and purposeful and can occupy multiple minutes on end. Sometimes I need tasks like this for myself, too. There’s something to be gained from the ritual and the process, and the rich smell and satisfaction of board butter sinking into wood that’s thirsty for it.
Next I dumped laundry detergent from one tin to another. For six months I’ve wrestled with the too tight lid of an old jar that I thought would be nice to stash detergent into. Some things do not work out as planned and it takes half a year to recognize it and half a minute to rectify it.
I went through Calder’s onesies-turned-shirts and refolded them to better fit in the wine crate where we keep her clothes. In a bout of harried DIY enthusiasm at my parents house in August I dyed a pot of stained onesies with the pale greenish yellow pigment squeezed from the last of summer’s Queen Anne’s lace. The color itself is lovely, a kind of soft chartreuse, but I’m an impatient dyer. I didn’t carefully strain my plant matter and my scouring wasn’t enough to rid the cotton of its spilled milk splatters and the resulting color does more to highlight stains than cover them. Sometimes this is just the way things go. At least now the spotted onesies are lined up in a row.
I’ve spent today answering emails I’ve neglected and putting plans into place for the season ahead. With any luck I’ll be emptying the dishwasher before the lunchboxes come home. Mostly I’ve been relishing the still and quiet and the opportunity to begin to repair the frazzled nerves that have been relentlessly splintered and patched together for the past 18 months.
Wishing repair and struggle-free laundry detergent and wood butter for all of you, too, if you need it. While I have you, if there are topics or musings or things you’d like to see more of in this space as we head into a new season, let me know. Tis the time for drumming up gift ideas and hunkering down and finding the light. Here for you and here for me.