One of the first things that drew me, as a young mother, to the Waldorf philosophy was the sense of rhythm that is valued. For me, rhythm keeps us going. It keeps us flowing and breathing, enjoying, creating and living.
From almost two weeks old, my oldest son craved a rhythm to his day. His bath time, massage time, singing time, snuggling time–those were all where he found his sense of security and place in this world. I have tried, endlessly, to keep that rhythm going even as he enters into his seventh year, and my youngest into his fifth. Our days consist of small cycles of rhythm. Waking time always includes morning poetry, our meals a time for gratitude. The handwork hour is a quiet time for working on current projects, or starting new ones. Our bedtime rhythm always the same with bath, massage, prayers and bed. All of these are bookended with the chaotic and busy life of all families, but it is within those small moments that the boys find their transitions, their knowledge that this is how the day is supposed to be going.
About a year ago, after months of frustration regarding toys on the floor, art supplies all over the house, and what felt like a never ending flow of dishes on the counter, etc. I decided that rather than spending the day pestering my little ones to pick up, pick up, pick up, and me washing, folding, and cleaning, we came up with The Blessing Hour.
The blessing hour gives us 60 minutes, around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, to pick-up, dust, sweep and get ready for our evening routine. It is a nice way to transition into our down time, and to make sure that our home is ready for a quiet family dinner. It feels refreshing to know that our home will be cleaned and organized, and that the boys have a sense of pride in moving into their evening with a fresh space.
I truly believe that setting that hour each day helps the boys to know when it is their time, their responsibility to help around their home. There is little complaining, and in fact there is more of a sense of simple transition into the next phase of their day.
Of course it helps that every Blessing Hour is followed by a warm pot of tea, a favorite gluten free bread, warm butter and a dab of honey (or any other goodies we have made that week). Tea time has always been a favorite of mine, even before I had children, but ending the chores of the day and moving towards preparation for our family meal and our evening routine makes tea time even more special.
While I live by the rule that life should be full of the freedom to enjoy and love and laugh without boundaries, those few moments of rhythm in each of our days helps us to find our footing, our balance, and to enjoy our days more fully.
Heather Fontenot, co-editor and publisher of Rhythm of The Home, lives with her family on the Front Range of Northern Colorado. She has a passion for natural and creative living, and spends as much of her time outdoors as possible. She loves to knit, sew, garden, photograph, read and home school her two sweet little ones. She writes the blog, Shivaya Naturals, where she chronicles her life as a mother, artist, and gluten free baker.