after Hurricane Katrina. I'd like to share it here along with pictures of today's endeavor.
My task today, which is no hardship really, is to make plum butter. The juicy garnet-colored orbs are truly a gift from the Goddess. I make fruit butters all summer, preserving them in faceted jam jars. They sit on a shelf until a gift is needed, especially at the Winter Solstice. I began giving homemade gifts many years ago. People so appreciate something homemade or handmade - it makes them feel comfy and mothered. Although not a mother to children, I still seem to do a great deal of nurturing through daily tasks.
I stood at the kitchen sink washing the fruit carefully, then slicing and placing the plums gently into my big jam pot. As I sliced then stirred, it occurred to me how much love I put into this act. A priestess of the harvest, lovingly preparing the gifts of the Lady to be gifts to those I love. What could be more nurturing than stirring love, and of course, my Reiki symbols, into the fruits of the Goddess.
This also makes me think of "women's work" - do we, modern women, feminists, dismiss certain tasks women do because we see it as patriarchal? Is it? I do embroidery which has long been considered women's work and dismissed as something negative or not worthwhile by some modern women. Is it really something that constrains my freedom, my creativity, my worthiness? Cooking for family and friends, does that restrict me? As I stir the plums, I consider how much love I gently stitch and cook into my various "womanly" pursuits; how I incorporate prayers, Goddess symbols and magic into embroidered samplers; how I stir healing prayers and love into my cooking. Yes, all these things I do with love - for those who receive my gifts, from the threads and the fruits themselves, and most of all, from myself to myself. Truly a lesson in the law of return.
My kitchen is filled with the sweet scent of fruit and spices, steamy and warm, a cat rubbing against my legs- how could this be anything but the greatest of pleasures?
Well, time goes by, four years since I scribbled and shared those thoughts. I am still stitching, making jam, baking and following where the Goddess leads me. I am still placing all those good things into everything I do.
Ya' know, life is really good!
(all photos copyright 2009, E. A. Kaufman)
(all entries copyright 2005-2009 E. A. Kaufman)