I love spring cleaning. And fall cleaning. Any cleaning at all. Not that I do it often, but when I do, what a rush....What I like best is the satisfaction of knowing I have renewed a sense of order in my home; somehow, squaring the corners makes me feel more composed in my own mind. I also like to notice the little accidents of decorating. They give a tiny swell of pleasure to the eye. I had just washed a dish, made by my friend Judyth van Amringe, and set it out to dry. I put a moss-filled pot, made by my friend Frances, on it, so the water could drain. I rinsed some more dishes, and put the sponge and brush up on the dish, so they could drain, and before I knew it, I had created a small still life by the sink.
A nice place for pleasing compositions; as the household gods know, we spend enough time in front of the sink. I look at this and think about my friends who make things with their hands, and how awesome that is, and how inspiring. And I think about those big old French bars of olive oil soap, how they get carved and melted by use, and develop patina, and how lovely they are compared to those plastic pumping antiseptic things we now use (and which, by the way, aren't helping us maintain are own immunities to colds...good riddance.) Sometimes, we stop seeing our little domestic treasures--they are too familiar to our eyes, they disappear. By rearranging them, and giving them new purpose, we refresh our delight and renew our affections.