I've been thinking about what elegance is and what it means. The church we are members of have a lot of women who when you look at them, they are dressed very well and look high class. I have always felt frumpy when next to them. Like I have never quite measured up in my dress. I've heard comments of "Well, your children are still small. When they are bigger...." Ok, that might be true to a certain extent, but even those with small children always seemed better put together than me.
Then I get to thinking about our lives. Even when we were living in Indiana, my clothes would always inevitably get rips, stains, stretched, and worn quickly. My hats would get squished, damaged, stains, etc. I always looked sloppy next to them.
So, I look at how I live. I am actively involved wit my children. They pull on my clothes causing them to get stretched. We have livestock which means fencing which means bailing wire which means as I am going by quickly, my skirt gets snagged. It gets ripped.
Raising our own produce, butchering animals, assisting animals with their birthing, all leave a mark. And now, with having moved to the Ozarks, I am even more "frumpy" and don't have the look of elegance that most of the ladies have that I am thinking about. We heat with wood. That means operating a chainsaw, splitting wood, gathering and stacking it. Clearing out land. Burning brush piles to prevent forest fires on or property.
So, do I push my children aside so my clothes don't get stretched? Do I live a life that would be artificial for us so I can present myself as some fake person that would be "pretty to look at" or do I live the life that I am supposed to live, look real, and be real? What is more important? Looking elegant on the outside or being who I am and if my skirt has patches in it or my shirts are pulled and stretched beyond repair or my head coverings for church are bandannas now rather than hats, then that is who I am.
Dictionary.com has several definitions of elegant. The first one being all about the exterior. The third one has to do with movement and form. Your interior shows in your movement and how you carry yourself. So while my clothing will never be up to the standards that other people have, can still be elegant in how I carry myself as I am reaching inside a laboring goat to turn a kid who is breech or applying life-saving treatment to an animal or butchering an animal for dinner. I can be elegant as I am milking a goat or harvesting a crop. I can be elegant as I operating a chainsaw or stacking wood.
I might never measure up in my looks or dress, but I do measure up when it comes to living and standing by our ethics and ideals.