If someone were to ask you what is truly important in life, I think we would all have similar answers: family, friends, health and enjoying the moment. In the day to day rush of life though, amid the ever-present piles of laundry and unopened bills, this truth can become forgotten for a little while. And then sometimes something comes along that shakes us out of our complacency and crystallizes the truth anew. Last week for us it was Hurricane Irma. We chose to evacuate to family in NC, but most of my family and friends decided to hunker down and weather the storm. At home, people worked together to help each other board up and prepared to spend the storm together. Meanwhile we made the best of our situation by sightseeing along the way. Even in the anxiety and uncertainty that preceded the storm, there was beauty and inspiration all around.
We stopped for a late lunch in Columbia, SC and took a stroll around the downtown area to find to our delight that it had been “yarn-bombed.” It seems the industrious crocheters and knitters of Columbia have adopted a stretch of the downtown and nothing is safe from their needles. Trees, benches, traffic signs and parking meters are all decorated in multicolored custom knit outfits. That afternoon in the beautiful sun and light breeze, surrounded by the product of such industrious creativity it was truly possible to believe that everything was going to be alright. When we sew and quilt, we put a little of ourselves into each piece. “Made with Love” is not just a cute label, but the truth, and that day I could feel the joy and love that each person had put into their street art.
Quilting in particular brings people together and has a long, rich history. At a tea shop in NC I asked about a pile of quilts on a table and was soon talking with the reserved owner about how his grandmother and her friends used to hand quilt together by stretching out the quilts on wooden beams. She made all dozen grandchildren their own quilts this way. I couldn’t help but wonder how many quilts in Florida were being lovingly packed away in plastic bins as their owners hoped for the best.
Safe with family, we watched Irma move onto Florida via CNN while praying for the family and friends still in the storm. It took a couple days to confirm that everyone was OK because of power and cell phone connectivity issues, but thankfully everyone, including my AGF family, was fine. Meanwhile, I enjoyed spending quality time with family that I hadn’t seen in years and doing my favorite travel activity- checking out the local quilt fabric shops.
As we move forward, we are blessed to have the understanding of what is truly important freshly stamped in our minds. I’ll bring this new inspiration to my sewing by taking my time with a project, and enjoying each step, by sewing clothes and projects for the ones I love, and stepping away from the laundry for a bit to sew some things for myself. The world is an amazing place, from the natural beauty of my aunt’s sun-dappled porch with the flowering myrtle trees to the howling ferocity of an implacable storm. There is inspiration all around. I’ll continue in my humble way to try to add some beauty to the world one little project at a time. I invite you to do the same. :)
Until next time,