The Oxford Dictionary describes a luxury as an inessential but desirable item.
I do believe that this Murano glass bowl, at $2 690 (available on-line from Birks Canada, in case you're interested) would fall into that category. It really is lovely, and I'm sure even more exquisite in real life. But it's also obviously out of reach, and probably not even that desirable for most of us.
But I've been thinking lately that luxury can come in many forms beyond extravagant living and inessential things. A bit of extra time, for instance can be a great luxury. I remember telling my sister this summer about what a luxury it was for me in my new empty nester life to have the time to hang the clothes out on the line. I'm not kidding. I like to hang clothes outside to dry, but when the kids were all home, there was so much more laundry and less time that I'd never quite get around to doing it; it was so much easier just to throw everything in the dryer.
Another example is that I've finally decided to take the time to learn how to make pie pastry properly and not just rely on my adhoc method of throwing everything into the mixer until it stuck together enough to role it out and get it into the oven. We all have time involving activities that we can consider luxurious if/when we indulge in them.
Other things that I would consider luxurious, perhaps by virtue of their inessential quality and desirability if not their extravagance would be stretch jeans that fit really well, good sharp garden shears, silicone liner sheets on cookie pans, lots of good pens that write well. I remember hearing Stuart McLean of the Vinyl Cafe describe the luxury of having a whole box of new socks so that he could indulge in opening up a new pair every day until the box ran out.
None of these comes close to the Murano glass category of luxury but they all make me smile and feel grateful when I use them.
At the store, I recognize every day how knitting affords so many people the opportunity to enjoy a bit of real luxury in their ability to choose a seductive sock yarn, or a couple of skeins of cashmere lace yarn, or the amazing colours of Noro yarn for a felted bag. Each of these choices allows the individual to be decadent in a most positive way, basking in the sensuous beauty of the yarn.
This week we received a 3 box shipment of pure luxury: FOOTLOOSE, a merino sock yarn in drool provoking colourways; LIMA, pictured here, is lightly spun 100% Peruvian highland wool and is as soft as can be;
and PILLAR, a blend of llama and silk. Each of these new yarns had customers fawning over them before we even got them on display.
We all have our own examples of luxury in our lives. I guess the trick is to remember to recognize them and appreciate them.