Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Well Worn Path

Recently I sat in a circle with my mama friends and we discussed the concept of being in a "rut". The basic premise was that stay at home parents are doing the same tasks over and over again, and they are never completed, which creates frustration and takes away from a sense of accomplishment.

I have to admit to having felt that way in the past.  At some point though, I started connecting to all of the people who have gone before me.  I would make soup and imagine my own great-grandmother stirring a pot on her own stove, adding a sprinkle or salt or a few pinches of thyme.  I would harvest lettuce from my raised beds and hear my grandmother telling me how her aunt always planted onions along the side of the garage in Los Angeles.  I would fold diapers and remember my mom telling me how she had folded simple flat diapers when I was a baby.

Soon I was connecting to more than just my familial ancestors; I started seeing my tasks as the tasks of humankind.  Some things are basic ~ nursing babies, holding toddlers, making meals, washing clothing, sweeping floors.  Some of the things I do are things that people did in the past, but don't have to do now ~ sewing, weaving, knitting, hanging laundry.

I came to think of myself as walking a well-worn path, following in the steps of the people who lived before me.  It isn't a rut; I am free to take detours, to sightsee, to stop for a moment and contemplate my life.  It is part of being human and experiencing humanity.

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