The great philosopher says he does the household chores because it is an aesthetic undertaking. Bringing order brings about beauty. And so it does. But not because order is being done for the sake of order. In Beauty: A Very Short Introduction, Roger Scruton explains that the way we set the table or arrange the room is done as an acknowledgment of our place in the world. It is solidifying the otherwise fleeting moments of beauty into rituals that remain with us and endow our lives with meaning.
After recently moving from our home of 22 years, I realized that I needed to set the dining room table up quickly in this new house...and leave many boxes unpacked that should have come first.
Wondering why this was such a desire was confusing until I read the quote above.
I needed beauty.
I needed familiar.
I needed to make this new house a home.
And so I did. I found the placemats, dishes, candles, crystal wine glasses, limes and artichokes (yes, you read that right) and got busy polishing the table to get it set once again.
And now, I love walking into the dining room, still stepping over boxes, to see the table!