oikos is the greek root of the word 'economy.' oikos (house) + nomos (law) = economy. the root meaning of the word gets at the idea to have your personal economy in order, you must take good care of your home. there is something deeply proper and humble in the cyclical work of making a home, washing and mending and planting and tending to one's tools and meals and relationships.
it's been a long, cold, hard winter here in maine. we've been heating with wood, and our crackling stove has sucked the juice out of all of our wooden tools. our chairs are scratchy, our cutting board dry, our spoons and bowls in desperate need of lubrication. like us, they need the juice and joy of spring.
today i took out our luscious wood cream (that jacob loves to use as moisturizer) and gave them the rub down they deserved. then i went to our local gas station and bought two pizzas and a six pack of hard cider and went over to friends to toast the black flies emergence and the return of warmth.
i delight in this cyclical work of oikos, this commitment to oiling the tools year after year. i rejoice in the simple tending of friendships, the showing up for each other week after week, helping each other with the planting, resting with each other with a cold drink and a picnic blanket.
as we soften the wood with oil, the fibers of the wood grow stronger and more resilient. that's how i feel after a winter like the one we've just had-- wrung out, dried up, whipped by the cold and dark and lonely of a rural maine winter. then, miraculously, spring softens me again, coaxing me out with warm breezes and budding leaves. i feel stronger and calmer than before, contented with dinners with friends, stronger and ready to dive in to the work of the season.