Saturday, October 10, 2009

Simple Pleasures

The last few days here have seen a return of the icy cold weather, rain and snow in some parts of the country . Still I must admit I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Time to light the wood fire , snuggle under blankets with hot Milos and read. Time to just listen to the rain and the wonderful sound it makes against the roof of our little home. It is very much for me a soul time. A time when my inner self slows down and talks to the rest of me. Recently I have been thinking more than ever of the old fashioned crafts women had. The sewing , spinning , weaving and such. Hours spent pouring over an embroidery or knitting a pattern that would warm a loved one. I wonder where it all has gone. Why we have chosen to give up such soothing pursuits in return for the store bought items that fill our cupboards?. The other evening  . with the rain pattering against our windows- I pulled out my little sewing basket and took out a pair of old trousers that Greg needed to have mended. I used my old darning mushroom - a wooden creation essential to old sewing baskets everywhere to patch and mend and darn.  I love darning socks as well. A thorough waste of time I have been told when one can nip into any shop and pick up a new pair for next to nothing. Still it cant replace the satisfaction I feel as I patch and mend and darn our clothes that  are tested by our farm work.

I have given time over the last few years to the collecting of old needlework tools. Darning mushrooms, rug hooks, old buttons and the like. I love peering into someone's sewing basket - sadly often seen in auctions- to discover a collection of well worn and loved tools. Tools that have served women as they mended clothes and fixed missing buttons. I read that there was seldom an empty basket of mending - as clothes always needed to be restored , saved, altered and stretched for yet another season. We could look at such a task as the result of poverty or lack or choose instead to view them as the simple need to make do with less and keep what they had for more essential things. These little work baskets would be pulled out after dinner - by the fire as the mending began. Young girls would learn to sew and mend and embroider at a young age.Often their skills today would astound many of us as we look at our own up coming generation of young girls obsessed with the latest cell phone or trendy outfit. How far removed these two worlds are now. And how sad. I feel so much that there will come a time when such material things though wonderful playthings will never fill a heart or nourish a soul.

This  week I have given focus to my little work basket of sewing. Run my fingers across the worn tools - inherited or bought. Celebrated the skills I have and the desire to learn more. Tidied up needles and spoons of thread, sorted and tidied. It is a task that I enjoy and centers me. It is a joy to be celebrated and enjoyed.

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Our friends- please share with us your thoughts and words too. We welcome hearing from you and your unique insights.With love ..Greg and Tammy