Recently I combed through piles and piles of cotton, silk, and wool in my mother's attic closet. I sorted, folded and organized the dots, stripes, and solids, into beautiful piles of soon-to-be projects.
The excitement of the future is enough for me to love this task. I can see a little dress here, an apron there.
But what pulled me into the moment was the past -- the blue shiny, crazy acrylic that my mother stitched into a beautiful costume for the Aurora Community Theater's version of "Annie Get Your Gun" over 20 years ago; the swatches of black and pink calico that flowered into my first sewing project when I was six; the beautiful silk that turned into tiny dresses for my nieces. And so much more. Memory upon memory flooded me -- the perfect dress for my prom, the perfect outfit for Halloween, the perfect quilt that I helped design -- and hours upon hours spent watching my mother create something out of nothing.
I love to create -- to see beautiful swatches of fabric turn into a quilt that will be used for generations; to see the patterns dance in just that certain way, to participate in an age-old ritual of preparing for the life of the family. But sometimes as I sit and create, I wonder if I'm just kidding myself - if this really is part of my calling as a woman, a mother and a daughter, a friend, and a wife in this age of overabundance.
My mom's closet whispered an answer that I had been longing to hear... "No."
The moments I spend in creation are not lost. They are not meaningless. In fact, they are so very, deeply important. They give the gift of creation, of moments, of the "perfect" dress (or coat... or doll... or toy or...).
Holding those very precious pieces of fabric, I could feel my mother's love. Even in this day and age of plenty, we need creation -- and the love that springs from it. We need things that take time. We need ideas that turn into reality, and our children need to see and experience the rich beauty of this process.
A dollmaker in a little town with lots of flowers and birds.