It was just a little book---Beatrix Potter sized--but it caught our attention and entered our minds and souls. Nine women, on an unusually cool summer evening, reached for their reading glasses to share underlined favorite quotes from The Quotidian Life, as we joined in yet another book club evening.
We usually try to make these times a tad on the festive side, for doesn't that add to the richness of life? We set a pretty table, light some candles, and for this book, enjoyed delicious peach cobbler and fruit pizza, with plantain chips and chocolate covered sunflower seeds on the side. And oh yes, the fruit drinks from Tr*der Joe's added a lot.
But back to this tiny, 88-paged paperback book, which was actually a talk given by the author. Some would-be readers were put off by the title: The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work by Kathleen Norris (who wrote The Cloister Walk.) But actually the author takes us beyond the seemingly "drudgery" of housework to the "mysterious way that the daily or 'quotidian' can open us up to the transforming presence of God."
Further: "Laundry, liturgy and women's work all serve to ground us in the world, and they need not grind us down. Our daily tasks, whether we perceive them as drudgery or essential, life-supporting work, do not define who we are as women or as human beings. But they have a considerable spiritual import, and their significance for Christian theology, the way they come together in the fabric of faith, is not often appreciated."
I'll probably quote from this little volume again. For there is much, much in it to ponder.