There is great power in anything made by hand. In our modern times, we've become accustomed to commercial, mass-produced products that can be purchased at a low cost. Although many of these products can be quite lovely, they tend to lack the unique qualities of a handmade item. There is an energy and life force in an object that has been touched by human hands in its creation, and that energy remains in the piece and joins with your energy as you use it.
The local food movement, which has become quite popular in the past several years, first got me thinking more about the things I use on a daily basis and the people who make them (or in the case of the story that follows -- grow them). A number of years ago, we started purchasing a share from Blue Dog Family Farm, a local organic farm in Southwest Michigan. Since then, my experience of eating and cooking has changed dramatically. And it's not just about the food; it's about relationships. We have come to know the people who grow our vegetables, and each week when I pick up our bag of produce and take it home to see what goodies are inside, I am keenly aware of the farmers and what it took for them to nurture the seeds, care for the tender shoots, and then hand-pick and select our weekly supply. They are right there in the food that ends up in my home.
Handmade objects have this same power to influence and enhance our daily lives. Our morning coffee or tea can taste quite different in a handmade versus a commercial mug. Or the soup we've made from scratch can be feel more nourishing when we eat it from a handmade bowl. Handmade objects have the power to help us slow down and be engaged with what we are eating or drinking. They help bring a sense of intimacy to our busy lives.