I’ve always been told that amongst all the qualities an evolved human can possess, patience is supreme. After all, it’s been around in human consciousness for a while as the saying goes, “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can seldom in a woman, never in a man,” although I’m not sure if I agree with the latter. See, my man happens to have a peculiar streak of patience. He can sit back and relax while others argue, not feeling the need to convince or control. And although he cares, he can just chill while everyone worries about the next snowstorm, economic downturn or even the end of the world for that matter! And I wonder if it is this streak that has got him on the road to soap making.
You see, after soap is made, it needs to sit. Just chill. Not hibernate for months like a bear, thank goodness. But it’s got to cure for a month at least (unless it’s a pure Olive Oil soap, which takes much longer.) Making soap takes patience, which I’m learning as part of the soapmaking house. I refrain from using it as soon as it’s made no matter how tempting. I watch it like a child gazing into a confectioner’s shop, wondering about those chocolate covered delights that he can’t have until he’s big enough to learn self-restraint.
Soap becomes soap only after it cures. The water content evaporates. It becomes milder, harder and better. At times I feel I get cured in the process as well. My impatience evaporates. I relax and learn to chill. How about that- a whole chilled out house. And then I find time to write and ponder, to watch the birds and the soft snowfall. I’ve got to say Virginia’s red cardinals are probably one of the most beautiful birds especially against the snow-laden pine trees. If only I were a photographer who could capture all the beauty around.
I think I’ve found that the most natural and best-loved things in life come with patience. Mothers learn patience as their babies grow, farmers learn patience as they tend the soil, artists learn patience as their paintings come to light and soap makers learn patience as their soaps cure.
On another note, I do wonder if those Almond Oatmeal soaps are done