Care is Like Water
My work with care has spanned half a century. Care is essential to life on the planet. If we can begin to appreciate and be inspired by how care works in support of life, then perhaps we will listen to the wisdom of those who care for us and learn how to care for Our Mother, Earth.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
To Care or Not to Care
Heron at our Pond photo by MK Sandford
For most of my life I have lived in households with two women.I have been the primary homemaker; my partners were the primary breadwinners – administrators and/or professors. Although it was definitely a partnership, I was homemaker, confidant, life coach; my focus was to keep things running smoothly. I didn’t realize how intense and unremitting this felt until, this past few years when my partner was disabled, and I kept working. I was teaching, writing, and caring for our hobby farm – caring for ducks, our gardens, building duck houses and fences, but I was not the cook, house cleaner and laundress, or bill payer. In spite of all that I was doing, I felt a gnawing guilt that I wasn’t contributing to the household; for the first time, my partner was responsible for doing the cleaning, laundry, cooking as she was able.
A year ago I had emergency surgery, and although I continue to teach online, I had to let go of the continuous concern for our daily living. I felt a subtle shift within myself. There are spaces in my life that were not there before. I can actually sit quietly by the pond, and think without intrusion of thoughts of work undone. The laundry fills the laundry basket by the bed; I can ignore it, knowing that it will be done. I don’t have to consider doing it. Dishes in the sink no longer bother me. I feel a lightness of being that I had never felt before. That is not to say that I don't help out when asked, but I no longer carry the constant concern for the life sustaining work that was always with me. Now I have the freedom of the privileged who know that their basic needs, their comfort, and their wants are taken of. Is this what it is like, for men? I wonder.