The pulse of this house originates in the kitchen. From there we enjoy the best sunlight, the most stunning views, a direct cosy heat in front of the wood stove, and the tantalizing smells of the meal-in-progress. It’s where we linger for hours on Saturdays and Sundays, coffee in hand, table piled with seed catalogs, books, or whatever is captivating our imagination. We sip our coffee and weave our future plans, adding equal proportions of the-sky-is-the-limit-what-if-dreaming with feet-on-the-ground-practicality. We consider our place in this land, in this house, and hypothesize about how we may be molded by it.
It’s lofty work, all of it, and work not to be done most effectively in rigid dining room chairs. Yet migrating to the living room compromises the light and the heat, plops us in sleepy chairs, buries us under blankets. A possible solution started as a small bubble of an idea, emerging from deep down. A rocking chair would be nice, a place to rock my baby in front of the wood stove. (I won’t deny gleaning some inspiration subliminally or otherwise from here) Such a shame, I’ve thought from the start, that our cozy wood stove is in the kitchen, already warmed from the oven, and not in the frigid living room, built for lounging.
Last summer, we were bequeathed this chair, from my Great Aunt’s estate.
No doubt it has soothed countless members of my family with it’s gentle, perfectly balanced motion. We were thrilled to have it and our hearts swelled as we imagined rocking our new baby in it, continuing in the family’s tradition. Upstairs it went, into the baby’s room-to-be. A hand-knitted lap blanket would be required, of course, and the plans for it started to take form.
But that bubble, that ideal of rocking by the fire…it swelled and started rising, started whispering in my ear, quietly at first, then with more insistence. Let’s bring that rocker downstairs, at least for the winter. Right in front of the fire. Right now, please. Please. The arrangement of our kitchen was tweaked, the floor was swept, (joy!) and the rocker was nestled into the corner. At the same time, I also found that the structural stress of carrying a baby rendered almost all of our furniture inhospitable to maintaining a comfortable posture or any hope of skeletal integrity. Oh, if that rocking chair wasn’t designed for the aching curves of my back! It became something of a traveling sensation – out to the living room for a night of knitting, back to the kitchen for morning rocking. And it garnered an exuberant fan club in a hurry. Daddio found it to be perfect for the aching contours of his back, found its soothing rhythm perfectly in tune with his heart. Clearly we were on to something here.
So we made a pilgrimage on Saturday morning, to a local shop that had for sale a chair that captivated my imagination many months ago. Mama Bear tried it out again, found its curves to be in tune with her own, found its creaking song to be in tune with hers. Papa Bear, perhaps in anticipation of gaining sole rights to the existing kitchen rocker, agreed.
Again, the kitchen was reconfigured, the floor swept, the new chair nestled in. Baby Bear added her rocker to the congregation before the fire. Seeing a void, she carefully dragged out yet another chair, the smallest in the house, for the baby. Wise to not give Baby a rocker until he/she is a bit older.
So we reveled in our new-found way of inhabiting our house. All weekend long we sat and rocked and planned and cooked and knitted and read and then left to complete other projects in places other than the kitchen. And returned to more rocking, cooking, living. Recharging.
So it is for us now. We rock.