The discipline of daily life

20 June 2016
What a few days we've had. Everything was going well with the bathroom renovation until the waterproofers arrived and applied a coat of whatever it is they use. They came back the following day for another coat. That stopped us sleeping in our bed for the next few nights. The smell was overpowering and gave me asthma. Not much housework as been done this week. I've spent a fair bit of time outside, had morning tea with Morag and her daughter in the garden on Friday and I have stayed away from the bathroom-end of the house.  Today the floor will be levelled with some sort of liquid gloop and when that dries - possibly in two days with all this rain we have at the moment, then the tiles can be laid and the new fixtures and fittings installed. We're looking at the end of the week at the earliest for it to be completed. 

And here I was thinking it's only a bathroom, it will take a couple of days.

There has been rain on and off all week and yesterday a lot of rain fell over the east coast of Queensland. It's surprising because winter rain is unusual here in our state. It looks like it's broken the drought in some places out west, so that's a great outcome for the farmers and rural communities.

We had Jamie here over the weekend which is always a pleasure. We made cupcakes and he played with his Legos, making some magical aircrafts and all sorts of spectacular "people". There wasn't much time outside because of the weather but he brought his Lego Movie with him so that DVD saved the day.

Viola tricolour - Love-in-Idleness.

Even though the house has been turned upside-down, outside it's a different story. Outside has a power all its own. I've never had much control out there where nature reigns with a strong and steady hand. Roses are flowering, sweet peas are climbing, I've planted some love-in-idleness aka Viola tricolour, and iris seedlings are sitting on our rain-soaked table waiting their turn to be planted.  Tricia collected an iris seedpod for me when she was out walking last year and these seedings are the results of those seeds. I'll be planting them in with the vegetables to bring in the bees and give me something wonderful to look at and care for.  One thing is for certain, with this rain and our overflowing tanks, everything is growing well and we're harvesting every day to eat and share.

I'm looking forward to getting back into a small part of my routine this week. It won't be the full production but small elements will slip back into place for me when I make soap, declutter and organise the front verandah.  There's no rush to do anything, I'll take my time and enjoy the process of reconnection and the discipline of daily life.

I love this quote from the book Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair that I've ordered from Book Depository:
Here’s the true secret of life: We mostly do everything over and over. In the morning, we let the dogs out, make coffee, read the paper, help whoever is around get ready for the day. We do our work. In the afternoon, if we have left, we come home, put down our keys and satchels, let the dogs out, take off constrictive clothing, make a drink or put water on for tea, toast the leftover bit of scone. I love ritual and repetition. Without them, I would be a balloon with a slow leak.

and this:

People like to say that it - significance, import - is all about the family. But lots of people do not have rich networks of hilarious uncles and adorable cousins, who all live nearby, to help them. Many people have truly awful families: insane, abusive, repressive.  So we work hard, we enjoy life as we can, we endure. We try to help ourselves and one another. We try to be more present and less petty. Some days go better than others. We look for solace in nature and art and maybe, if we are lucky, the quiet satisfaction of our homes.

I think I'll love this book. It will remind me to think about "the quiet satisfaction" as it unfolds, to look for meaning and appreciate things that make ordinary days at home so significant and enriching. Life is not about toil to me, it's not the main point of every day. I love to work and do my fair share but I want to enjoy every day and appreciate the beauty lurking in my home too. Finding those beautiful gems in a home I've live in for almost 20 years can be tough sometimes but it's not impossible. And when I do something I'll remember forever or when I increase my knowledge of my environment or myself, when I cook a great meal, drink our fresh orange juice, eat a crisp pea straight from the vine, follow a pattern until the end, or when I sit breathing fresh air deeply that, my friends, is something that helps me appreciate what is and keeps me going until the next time.