Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time to Muse...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A few months ago, I spent a day with some friends, Klaus and Donna Bach, helping them pack to move. They'd lived on the Island a bit longer than I had, and I'd gotten to know them by several means. In the 80s, we'd worked together, with many others, organizing an annual folk festival here on Manitoulin. Klaus and Donna also owned the only health food store in the area, so I often saw them there.

These two make a wonderful pair: he, a soft-spoken, friendly German, and she, an effervescent, laughing Canadian. From all I could see, they, their two children, and the many foster babies they welcomed into their home formed a happy, loving family.

A firm believer in equality and common sense living, Donna was also a full-time homemaker -- truly, a home-maker. She loved looking after the whole family's comfort and offering stability and calm in their home. She contributed to the community and worked in the family's store.

Donna is one of the most smiling, practical and interested people I know.

On our packing day in the late fall, I was telling Donna about my blog, and she was as enthusiastic and supportive as ever. This conversation led to her showing me a poem she'd written years before. I asked if I could post it on my blog sometime, and she was delighted.

I like her little poem because it's real. It reflects the simple realities of daily life -- that the common tasks are more than just common tasks. They allow our minds to shut down and get much-needed rest. The small attention we must pay them allows emotions to be put on hold... or expressed in relative privacy (since the common tasks are often completed on one's own, anyway!). Intuition can slip in quietly and offer solutions that might otherwise go unnoticed. Life is full of small moments in which we can be renewed.

Here's Donna's poetic musing from 1979:

Women's Work

Lead me to the sink where I can think.
Let me peel the onions -- I can cry.
Put my hands in hot and soapy water,
Let me fold the laundry if it's dry.
Ironing's my favourite -- then comes mending,
I'll probably be at it  'til I die.
I know my family thinks I'm busy working,
But I'm solving all our problems on the sly!

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