I can’t tell you how much I’m still thrilled with the new kitchen. I’m noticing how the light is changing in there as the season changes day by day. I fall in love with this new space every day.
Ever since the renovation I have been especially sensitive to clutter and mess. I no longer let dishes pile up. I keep everything in its designated place. I polish the stainless.
I’m zealously defending its beauty.
This concept of “defending beauty” is one I recently heard about on a Gretchen Rubin podcast. It’s the idea that once you’ve created a little piece of beauty in your home, you work to defend it. And in this act of defending beauty, I seem to be defending a place of beauty in myself, too.
It could even turn out to be a big part of who I am, or a part of my life’s work: To become a defender of beauty.
When people “Adopt a Highway” for instance, they defend a little piece of public thoroughfare. When Lady Bird Johnson planted wildflowers on median strips, she was defending the beauty of the highway.
There’s a spur of road behind our house that tends to get littered. I notice if I keep the litter picked up, it doesn’t accumulate as fast; but if I don’t pick it up, it gets worse daily. If people sense that someone cares for something, defends its beauty, even only on a subconscious level, they seem to have a different attitude toward it.
I have other little places in my house whose beauty I defend. They kind of function like shrines to different parts of my self. My space chair, for instance, is where I write and read.
I also have this bedside table where I pen notes to people.
When I was a kid I had a battalion of brown plastic Mary statutes I won in school for answering catechism questions.
I had about 30 of these things and I’d arrange them in various formations on the top of my dresser. It gave me a lot of pleasure to do this. Nothing else was allowed to be on that dresser top. Maybe it was a shrine to my dedication, or my effort.
As I defend the beauty of my new kitchen, I feel like I’m am defending the space inside me that loves food, and food prep, and just time spent chopping and sautéing and tasting and spicing.
Time spent nourishing and feeling nourished. Time spent doing what I love.