Today I am playing a housewife.
I’m trying it on. Yesterday I harvested organic vegetables at the farm where there’s a share included in my August rental in Sag Harbor. Today, I gathered towels and sheets and miscellaneous linens in a laundry basket, nestling the plastic latticework into my side as I scooped up the textile remains of weekend guests. I lovingly rinsed every lettuce leaf I had pulled from the ground at the farm. I watched the very same dirt I rinsed off my toes go down the drain as it freed the fresh greens from their earthen coat. I arranged fresh flowers cut from the rows of cosmos, black-eyed susans, and sunflowers that punctuate the potato furrows and lines of tomato vines at the farm. As I found a place for our abundant harvest in our overstuffed refrigerator I reveled in the continuity of handpicking the very same food that’s sustaining my summer energy. I organized the Tupperware, matching long-separated pairs to their beloved other halves. I took great satisfaction in fitting a few more glasses into the dishwasher after some purposeful rearranging.
I’m finding that I’m a gifted domestic goddess, even if I may never figure out how to fold a fitted sheet into anything more than a clumsy heap. And the joy in trying this role on for comes from the fact that it is simply that: a role—one among a multitude from which I can choose on a daily basis. I am so blessed to live in a time and place in which options abound and choice is as taken for granted as breathing. (I have consciously created my personal and business life to allow for maximum freedom.) And for the fact that I can choose to don a little apron and dishwashing gloves and cook dinner every night, or simply hire a cleaning service and order out, I am eternally grateful. Because though the label “domestic goddess” suits me quite well, the joy in it comes from the fact that I get to choose it today, whether or not I choose it again tomorrow.
Court Artisan: Kate Northrup