Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sacred Refuge

After taking note of Shannon Hayes' book in the New York Times article, The Femivore's Dilemma, this morning I read a fabulous review of Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer CultureI've been feeling empowered all day.  Surely, having my existence validated feels good, but that's only a tiny piece of it.  It's more that I've been reminded that I'm not alone in my endeavors to make my home a sacred refuge from economic materialism.  

Throughout the day my thoughts returned to the women I'm honored to know... supra-ordinary mamas who are redefining feminism by simplifying their lives and setting their heart's compass to ecological sustainability, social justice, and family well-being.  In some ways, it feels like the mamas of today have given birth to a new paradigm for femininity.  We've discovered that life outside the office doesn't mean a four walled torture chamber of bon bons and casseroles.  We know what road blind servitude and mindless consumerism takes us down and we're choosing a new path.

I don't think radical homemaking would be possible without the blood and sweat of our feminist sisters who paved the way... and I wouldn't want to stay home if our culture was as patriarchally backwards as it was 50 years ago.  Does this suggest a return of the Sacred Feminine?  Maybe our world is finally beginning to realize that internalizing our female half practically tipped the earth off of her axis. 

With my inner-goddess invoked, our school day felt like a downhill slalom.  I woke up before dawn and sat in meditation for an hour, then spent the sunrise in Surya Namaskara with the Gāyatrī Mantra.  Full of sunbeams and universe juice, it was time for tending to seedlings, plants, and compost, then a slow-paced, mindful breakfast, lesson planning, and organizing artwork into portfolios. 

The highlights of our day included:

a little Greek Mythology...
with the story of Persephone, Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld, from The Lady of Ten Thousand Names: Goddess Stories from Many Cultures retold by Burleigh Muten.  

a silly tongue twister...
Swan swam over the sea
Swim swan! Swim!
Swan swam back again
Well swum swan!

... writing some sentences:
Six swans swim swiftly.
Seven sisters sleep soundly.
Silver stars shine in the sheltering sky.

... spelling our S words in song:
s-e-v-e-n, s-e-v-e-n, s-e-v-e-n, that's how we spell seven!

... an introduction to the second spoke of the dharma wheel, right intention - in Pali samma sankappa:
The Buddha explained right intention as threefold: the intention of renunciation, the intention of good will, and the intention of harmlessness.

... a little piano practice perfecting
a Samba!

Then it was time for a piano lesson, a ballet class, and the park with daddy.  Still, the best part of the day was our continued seeking of spring.  We're blessed to live in a warm little corner of the universe and everywhere we turned, Persephone's work abounded.  Too beautiful for words, I'll close here with some pictures.

cherry blossoms aflame

almost like a lotus unfurling

rosemary gone wild

seedlings sprouting...

 and shining in the sun

baby leaves being born on our favorite oak

welcome little leaves!

spring heralds popping up in the fairy garden

snow peas smiling

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