Okay, I’ll admit – this is an area that I really have no talent in. Even so Mrs. Schaeffer would not accept this as an excuse for not somehow adding flowers to my life and the life of our family. And to be honest, reading this chapter has inspired me to try to do more in the way of tablescapes which is where her focus mainly is.
Mrs. Schaeffer points out the human relationships need communication, but communication takes time and atmosphere helps as well. Taking the time to make the table where we eat beautiful in some way communicates to our family and friends that they are important to us, that we want to spend time with them.
A pretty flower and lit candle may be all it takes to set the tone for a relaxing time spent around the table enjoying the company of those with us. I think that if we take the time to make a centrepiece, no matter how simple, we will be more likely to use pretty dishes that match. We will just naturally want to sit and talk. The atmosphere has created a warm feeling.
Mrs. Schaeffer gives several different examples of simple ways you can make a pretty centrepiece. It is really inspiring to read all of her ideas. Basically, she sees beauty all around her. I really have been inspired to at least try something simple more often than just company/holiday meals.
She also points out how important this beauty is for children.
Children growing up in an atmosphere where beauty is considered an important part of daily life cannot help being inspired to develop their own original ideas in these areas, nor can they help being prepared to live aesthetically themselves. There is a ‘togetherness’ in sharing a prepared table that even very small children feel, although they cannot express it verbally.
The sick should also be considered. Certainly flower arrangements can be sent to someone who is sick, but what if the sickness carries on for weeks and months? Do we still send or give flowers to help lift their spirits? What about the trays for their food. Those can have a flower added or a small candle. Something that adds beauty and lets the sick person know we care. Something they can look at while alone and be encouraged by the kind thoughts behind the beauty.
I believe strongly that the suppressing of hidden artistic talents or appreciation has the effect of warping us as personalities. So I feel that this beautifying of meal tables and trays with hidden artistic and original ideas is a very simple area indeed in which to start fulfilling one’s own needs, through the freedom of expression, and adding another dimension to the day.
Mrs. Schaeffer ends the chapter by pointing out that God is a God of beauty. Think of the garden He gave to Adam and Eve, the colours and patterns in the tabernacle in the wilderness, the flowers and colours He created, etc. Really, it doesn’t take long to look around and realize that God has surrounded us with beauty – beauty that is not necessary to our physical bodies like food or water or air, but necessary for our souls.
One more quote from this chapter to end this post?
There is no specific kind of house you must live in to be ‘spiritual’ – only the house the Lord has chosen for His chosen purpose for you, and the house with you in it. But whether it be a palace or a tree house, beauty is important, and this very simple form of producing beauty is really one of the most universally possible expression of ‘Hidden Art’.
Have you been inspired to do some flower arranging and pretty tablescapes? I have.
Linked to: The Art of Homemaking