365 Days of Earrings

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simple lessons from Maria Montessori and My Granddaddy

Long ago, when I first read a book that Maria Montessori wrote about education, I began thinking of the richness to be found in ordinary tasks--if we seek it. Every movement, she wrote, can be executed gracefully, as if danced. Emptying the dishwasher. Hanging the laundry. Walking up the stairs. Each can be a yoga asana of my own invention.

I used to find washing dishes onerous--a tedious waste of time, day-in-and-day-out. But soon after my first child was born, I discovered that I could indulge several times per day in self-indulgent water therapy. Warm, soapy water to swish about. And in the end, a mountain of clean pots, pans, and utensils, gleaming in their drying rack.

My mother used to tell about how her father's tradition was to wash the dishes after the family's Sunday dinner. Sunday was "the help's" day off. My grandmother, Mema, cooked a big meal for the extended family and their assembled friends. Afterwards, Granddaddy put on his apron and washed the dishes. When anyone offered to help, he'd say, "You're too little." I've often wondered if he had discovered the joy of water therapy.

I made this pair of earrings last summer. They remind me somehow of water droplets dangling, ready to fall.

1 comment:

Käthe said...

You've inspired me time and again in this way... I didn't remember the story of your grandaddy. Another story introduced with this blog... so great.