Somehow when I was a kid, I thought only about the fun part of doing stuff. Set-up and clean-up also happened, but those little details escaped my attention. I was in for a very unpleasant suprise when I started keeping my own house. Now when I am spending time with my kids, it seems that set-up and clean-up dominate the greatest portion of my day and “the fun part” has been reduced to but a crumb.
The reality of being a grownup never ceases to amaze me. Like the amount of time I spent washing things. I’m not a clean freak – on the contrary – but I am the mother in our family and that somehow has come to mean that I am the one who clears things off and wipes things off (including butts – glad we’re out of that phase). And I wipe things down and wipe things up. I set things out, straighten things up and then after that I get to wash things up. Over and over and over again. For years, I seethed with resentment about the amount of time these repetitious, boring, circular activities were stealing from a otherwise perfectly exciting and enjoyable life.
Since I met the Grandmothers, I have realized that circularity is part of a woman’s life. Not that women should spend all of their time washing things up and washing things down, but rather that circularity and repetition are not something to be resented or even fought against. Being a grown woman means that circularity enters the picture in many different ways. Our bodies know the endless repetition of the moon and the tides. Daily and yearly, the woman usually becomes the one to arrange the rituals of preparing food and caring for home and children. I have learned to stop resenting the circularlity. Some days I can even see how elevating repetition to ritual can make an otherwise ordinary life sacred.
– Golden Eagle Feather