Much as I enjoy staying in the cottage we rent when we are in Cornwall, and it is a very well-equipped cottage, it lacks the real comfort of home.
While I was there last month I thought a lot about home comforts and how they contribute to the well-being of those who inhabit a home. Being comfortable ranks high on my personal hierarchy of needs and is the main reason I don't camp.
These are my necessary domestic comforts ~
Clean, dry towels.
A bed, freshly made, preferably with line-dried linen.
Somewhere comfortable to sit in the evenings.
A shelf or table near the chair for a drink and a book or two.
The makings of a quick meal in the kitchen; bacon and eggs, bread and butter, some crisp apples.
Coffee, tea or cocoa, whichever you love best, in a mug which feels friendly in your hand.
A pile of books.
A notebook and pen.
Simple things all of them.
Maybe the reference to women in the last verse of Grace Noll Crowell's poem below is dated, but mentally substitute 'one' for 'woman' and I think she speaks such sense. Sometimes we are so busy looking outwards for excitement that we fail to recognise that the simple, ordinary acts of daily living are what make us content.
I Have Found Such Joy in Simple Things
I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.
I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.
Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things--old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.
Grace Noll Crowell