It has been several years since I last picked up a needle and thread for anything more inspirational than turning up a hem or sewing a patch on a Kenpo gi. While moving things from my storage room to another, larger one, I happened across a stack of cross stitch charts, and brought “America’s Best Loved Hymns (collection two)” home on a whim. On another trip to storage, a box of floss made its way into my car. They waited patiently in my bedroom while the desire to stitch again wove its way into my dreams.
Today I went through my DMC stash, finding the necessary floss colors to work the design of my choice. I had forgotten how good the floss feels on my fingertips, how luscious the skeins look piled atop one another. I am getting so excited about starting my project…the words of “In the Garden” set amidst a riotous frame of full-blown pink roses. We sang this at Mom’s memorial service (it was her favorite), but I didn’t know then that “In the Garden” was written about Mary Magdalene’s visit to Christ’s tomb after his Resurrection. As Mary is my favorite Biblical woman, that made it doubly poignant to me.
In anticipation of starting my new stitchery project, I’d like to share a poem I wrote many years ago, when embroidery was part of my daily routine. I hope you enjoy it.
Clutching the needle tightly, the stubby short fingers stab at the fabric
Tugging at the knots, the child fights the stitches.
Caressing the silks softly, the ivory-tipped fingers coax lover’s knots onto satin
Anticipating the morning and the wedding joy to come.
Tugging the cottons impatiently, the swollen fingers rush to finish the quilting,
Hurrying to welcome the new arrival.
Grasping the needle awkwardly, the stiffened fingers fight with the wools,
Struggling to complete the fading tapestry.
Starting slowly, the stitcher’s rhythm builds, quickens and steadies,
Mellowing into the sunset of her days.