5.07.2009

slow living

Emma Bovary are you out there? Do you remember her from your college reading days? (Does Madame Bovary ring a bell?) This poor woman was obsessed with reading romance novels and had a certain "romantic" vision of what her life would be like. When she married and had a child, she was immediately disappointed with her mundane wifely duties. Her disappointment thrust her life into a downward, destructive spiral and eventually death. Zola said: "Madame Bovary, c'est moi!" [she] is me!" Perhaps we've all felt like her--disappointed with our seemingly banal lives.

To me "slow living" by its very nature is anti-Emma Bovary. It's finding joy in simple, seemingly banal activities and moments: feeling satisfaction with cleaning a stack of food-crusted dishes; patiently listening to and actually enjoying a five-year old recount her fantasy wish-list for the tooth fairy; laughing at the sight of the three-year old sitting in the bathroom sink with a whole bottle of shampoo mixed into a mountain of frothy suds. (I had to work hard to smile and not scream at that scene!) Seeing this sweet baby peacefully sleep in her quiet sun-filled crib was one of those simple, magic moments that I will always remember. I had to share it with you too.

So be off with you Emma Bovary. You're not invited into my house!

32 comments:

Jess said...

What a beauty!
Her little sleeping form makes me appreciate the slow time too.

Marie' said...

Beautifully said. I agree with you 100%.

Karen L R said...

Ooooohhhhh...this is a LOVELY post! So sweet and real and affirming.

Not sure this fits in with your new karma, but I am hosting a fun fabric giveaway...

sew nancy said...

this is just what i needed to read write now
so thank you

mrs boo radley said...

Take it slow, because babies don't keep. (That last part is from a poem by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton.)

anie said...

thank you for sharing. I have been recently forced into stay at home mama mode and I am loving it! those peaceful moments make it all worthwhile, though we are surely happy to see papa when he gets home, too :)
enjoy~

Donna B. said...

That is sheer perfection.............how blessed you are. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Catherine said...

My two week old little girl is finally sleeping sound after a rough night. I SO needed this! Thank you!!

Rubyellen said...

love the motto! maybe that will make time slow and take longer for kids to grow up.

Susannah said...

Very well said! I love the Sugar City blog!!

What's the news on the quarterly?

Susannah

lera said...

And smiling when the 2 year-old sticks all the new band-aids to the floor and his shirt? That just happened a few minutes ago.

Your baby is beautiful. It makes me want another one. Well, if I didn't already have six ...

Tricia said...

Beautiful post...and beautiful baby!!!

I love what you said about finding joy in the mundane. That has been one of my goals this year. And I find myself getting better at it every day...it feels good! Thanks for the powerful reminder...and the image of your sweet sleeping little one.

lynne said...

love it, melissa!!!

and love the expression "babies don't keep" from mrs. boo radley...

Kari said...

Such a perfect picture.

Lisa said...

beautiful words and a beautiful photo!

Barbara Brown said...

so true. joy in the everyday. your baby is so sweet. i love peeking in on my littles while they sleep.

Jennifer said...

Nice reminder, I needed that!

jojo-caramel said...

Magic moments ! Beautiful Baby !!! xo

Cindy Young said...

What a lovely picture. Your baby daughter is beautiful.

ConstanceV said...

This baby is looking sooo peaceful and calm (in the picture;-)). I hope for you that time can stand still just for one second more....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful picture and wise words. You made our rainy cold morning into a beach day :), Klara and Sara

Joslyn said...

well said! oh my she is perfection.

JMW said...

What a doll...and you've been tagged!

Lauren said...

She is so beautiful Melissa. How is life with four kids? I love the excitement of having a new baby. It is so much work but it is soo worth it.

Babies grow up way too fast - enjoy her!

xo

: industrious fern : Sarah said...

oh my goodness, she is amazing! just lovely!

Lauren said...

One more thing. Emma Bovary did not have four kids. I don't think life is mundane with four small children. I can think of a lot of other appropriate adjectives but you are way too busy to be bored right now:)

clairesoleil said...

so beautiful baby...

Liz R. said...

so sweet! those moments are great.

wide open spaces said...

mine either - love this!

hurrah for motherhood, loss of sanity and all.

mer said...

Well said. I love this entry.

Jenna said...

What a nice sentiment - slow-living is the opposite of Bovar-ism. :)

(PS: I think it was Flaubert who said "c'est moi" in reference to his heroine)

Sally said...

Thanks for sharing your insights. Beautifully written and a timely reminder for all of us who commonly find ourselves slogging it out in the daily grind.
Your photo is a treasure - captures that amazingly tranquil moment in time. Priceless.