Anyone who knows me very well knows that I am not a nostalgic person. I have some fond memories from my early childhood, but most of the years after that until I was in my mid- twenties I would not want to relive. Maybe that’s why I have almost an aversion to clothing, hairstyles, and especially music from the 1960’s and 70’s. I also am not one to pine for the “good old days” because I know that even though we live in sometimes difficult and challenging times, the years prior to these times were what led up to the world we now live in. Yes, maybe people were more respectful, life was slower-paced, and families stayed together, but far too many things were hidden and fear was often the impetus behind society’s virtues. I believe that hidden things need to be revealed, and respect, love, and loyalty need to be extended for the right reasons before we can move forward as a society.
With all that being said, I do have to say that I love old, solid, lasting things – things built with love and care that have a history and have stood the test of time. I love the character of really old buildings and furniture and appreciate items made by hand. As I was changing the bedding this morning, I reached for these pillowcases that I found in an antique store last year. They are probably not that old, and I don’t think they had ever been used. The fabric is so soft, and the handwork just lovely. I like to think about the person who took the time to embellish the pillowcases and thank them for the special touch.
I also found this little “doily” that someone put a lot of time and effort into creating.
I don’t use it, and I just have it in a closet, but I couldn’t resist the clever way it was made. Maybe someday I’ll find someone who appreciates things like this, and I’ll be able to give them a gift.
I don’t have many things from my family’s past, but I do have the yo-yo quilt that my grandma made. When I was first married, I used this quilt as a bed covering and washed it a few times, so it is in need of repair, but still so pretty. I had it on my bed as a child and would look at each circle and try to pick my favorite. Each circle probably came from my grandmother’s or her daughter’s worn-out clothing – what a history is in that quilt!
Today as I prepare to make homemade soap, I think about the fact that many of the things made by hand in the past were done out of necessity. People put their own personal, creative touches on many of the things they made, but they often didn’t have a choice about making them. Now even though there aren’t many things we can’t buy somewhere, it is perhaps therapeutic and worthwhile for us to create something. I don’t sew, knit, or crochet, but I love to create a pretty garden, and I enjoy crafting bath and body products out of natural ingredients. The process of creating is beneficial in so many ways, I think. Problems are solved and ideas generated as we work with our hands, and nothing compares to the satisfaction of seeing something we have ourselves made.
As I write this, I am looking out my window at two neighbors working in their gardens. As they wield their hoes and bend to pull those weeds, I’m sure cobwebs are being cleared from their minds, and the birdsong in the air is making the cells in their bodies sing! A bit poetic maybe, but I believe it’s true, and I encourage you to work with your hands and create something soon. Put your heart into it, and you can truly consider yourself an artist!