Being Martha

Sometimes in the midst of trying to ‘Live Fair’, I get lost. I as in me. The me who likes pretty things like flowers and nice skirts and good mascara. I become slovenly hippie woman and don’t buy flowers, much less water them. I don’t brush my hair. I do bathe daily, whatever your thoughts on that are because I’ve never really been able to figure out where the doomsayers think the water is going when they say I’m wasting it.

So in the midst of trying to live fairly and lightly on this planet, I forget that the things that make me me are the things that also make me happy and that it’s okay to be happy and that maybe I can find my pretty, happy-making things offered in an ethical, honorable fashion. Today I set about finding out.

I dragged Minerva, my youngest son and his friend to the Chesapeake Heritage Festival. It’s a really cool festival that almost didn’t happen this year because of lack of funding. Sad but true. Anyway, I managed to come home with a trash bag plus a plastic grocery bag both full of beautiful, local roving. Yeah. I’ve been wanting to make slippers for a long time and now we have enough roving to give it a go.

There were spinners, knitters and a weaver using a 300 year old loom. Sales were of all natural fibers in hand dyed yarn, roving and finished products. There were a bee keeping group and a basketry guild on hand. It was hard to keep myself under control being so deprived and all.

Then we went to a very small local nursery, Blue Ridge Nursery, on a shady corner in used-to-be rural Chesapeake. They have a fantastic variety of pumpkins for sale, as well as mums and other fall bedding plants, straw bales, corn shocks (won’t the squirrels be thrilled!) and other seasonal goodies. We came home with a ton of beautiful things to decorate our yard with.

Why does decorating my yard or home seem so at odds with living a greener lifestyle? Why isn’t it okay? Why do I feel like I have to tell people that the awesome, antique couch on the front porch was a thrift store find? Partly, I know, because my family has money and because of that I’m prejudged but do I really need to defend myself against assholes who think I’m bad because my dad is a good businessman who has worked his rear end off his whole life? The fact is I do but I’m stopping. Right now. I hope.

When I hung up the little flag (surely made in China) that we bought along with our local pumpkins, I felt one small twinge of guilt but it was immediately squashed by the thrill of Pretty! and the huge grin on my little girl’s face. It suddenly hit me that I probably need to back off of my pursuit of ethical perfection and just have a little fun sometimes. Besides, I’m pretty sure that having my home look nice doesn’t necessarily fall outside the realm of environmentally doable.

I’m trying to do it green. We renovate ethically, eat locally and garden without chemicals. We compost. We also eat out and bring leftovers home in styrofoam containers. So sue me. I like good food. I like fall. I like flowers. I like looking nice. Welcome. This is me.

About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in activism, children, container gardening, environment, Four Oaks, health and well-being. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Being Martha

  1. Terry says:

    I love this post.

  2. Lydia says:

    I *love* those stripey mums — I’ve never seen them like that! They’re so cool. I like fall too. And I find styrofoam to be useful on occasion myself. Hahaha!

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