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Friday, July 6, 2012
A Keeper of the Hearth
A Keeper of Hearts!
How I love these phrases and how I believe they combine to hold dear all those things I cherish.
Home and Hearth a place for my soul to be at rest.
A place where I can feed the body and the more important aspects of those I love. My vocation can be summed up in this statement - 'A Keeper of the hearts around my Hearth'
In times past when every home had a wood fire and hearth for either cooking and/or warmth the family would gather in this place to replenish both body, heart and soul. Food for the body, warmth of family and friends.
All would gather around this place and be nurtured.
In so many homes today we don't have a hearth to gather around and yet still where do most people gather while visiting? Yes, in the kitchen!
I can't tell you how many times those who have come into our home have gathered in our kitchen. In this way I find it is easy to get to know one another better. In the everyday setting of preparing a meal or small snack it is easy to let our guard down and really get to the to share with others and this opens the way to get to the heart of our own hearts and perhaps even to bless others.
Of course in our home we have the blessing of a wood fired oven (our only cooking source) as well as other wood fires for warmth in Winter. I never tire of seeing how the warmth of a fire can draw people to one area of the home and thus induce interaction that may not have been happening before. So often we have one or more people backing up to the stove while we work in the kitchen o,r as we are in the family room to have a line of bodies trying to absorb this heat, even when not so cold.
It is the visible and tangible heat from a fire that draws people and I know (from previous homes) that ducted heat through a home, while warming does not produce the bonding that occurs through 'hearth love'
Therefore I truly see the way that the saying 'the heart of the home is in the kitchen' for once the 'hearth' was the kitchen and as a home maker, a wife and mother my most of my cherished moments happen in the 'heart and hearth of my home.
In fact I think of my role as a Keeper of the Hearth more of a guardian protecting those I love, by nurturing the whole person and this so often happens in the heart of my home- the hearth place!
In times past, the hearth–the fire–was often the figurative center of the home. It was used for cooking and the heat for ironing. In the evening, candles and lamps because of the cost were used very minimally and thus the fire from the hearth was used for lighting purposes as well as for warmth.
The hearth fire heated as much of the home as possible form this one central location.
Without other possibilities that we have in modern times made available by lighting from electric sources families would usually gather together around the hearth–it was a place of warmth and a place for stories, everyday crafts that could be done together while sharing a common and entwined life together.
As I reflect on this thought I think it tragic in a way that due to the lack of the 'hearth place' that it reduces the opportunity for the' heart of the home' to be THE place where we may encourage and love one another, to strengthen and nurture each other in preparation for the life work we all are called to do!
Blessings to your homes,