kitchen madonna

when we were contemplating our move last summer, one of the things i wondered and worried over were the window sills.  just what would they be like at our new place?  what if they were too shallow to hold the feathers and candles and flowers i put there?  where would those things go?  how would i create the little pockets of beauty and wonder that nourish me so?  but there was no need to worry.  our new windows open onto lovely views and their sills are even deeper than before.  we can even set up a short train track on the living room sills!

this is a repost from last winter.  Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter has been talking sinks and kitchen flow and the beautiful and useful all week.  now it’s our turn to share!  i can’t wait to see the other shrines to the domestic.  (you can click on the picture to see a larger version of this rather messy picture…just an average Thursday night!)

last fall i went to hear Rahima Baldwin speak.  she encouraged us to imagine our homes as places that support the spiritual path of each member of the family.  that’s sounds lofty, but really it hinges on basic things: a sense of reverence and gratitude.  she also said it was important to make a place for prayer, an altar.  it doesn’t take much, just a little thought and attention.  she said the window sill above the sink was a good place.  the room filled with laughter.  dishes and prayers!  but she said it’s a place where we spend time nearly everyday.  it’s a place whose repeated motions can free the mind for other work.  it’s a place (unfortunately!) where we can be alone.  the dishes must be washed.  why not invite beauty and prayer in too?

so i cleared off the widow sill above the sink.  it has a way of collecting odd bits.  now it holds a doll from Ecuador, a tiny, silver Virgin Mary, a crow feather, another small icon, shells from San Diego, dish soap,and a succulent from Nicki.  now that i’ve listed it all out, it seems crowded. but it’s not.  just a quiet place to rest my eye as i wash each day’s sink full of dishes.


  1. Very sweet! I love your little madonna with her arms open wide! Isn’t she loving?

    You are so right…invite beauty and prayer in!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kortney, I’ve written you a letter, but I don’t think I have your new address. Could you email it to me?

    Love your kitchen window! I always pray while doing the dishes 🙂

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