a treasure in thread

Once upon a late summer afternoon, just before the new school year began, my youngest daughter, all of age 9, was bored. She asked if I might help her learn to cross stitch, and I was delighted to comply. First, I let her sift through my charts until she found a pattern she liked. Next, I gave her a slender tapestry needle, some sturdy Aida fabric stretched in a small hoop, and a few skeins of DMC floss. She proved to be a quick learner, and soon she was happily stitching away. I can see her still in mind’s eye, perched there on the living room loveseat, glancing up from her embroidery with a valiant, “Look what I can do!” grin.

When her lovely star was complete, she felt satisfied. She set her hoop aside and scampered off to play. School started. She stashed her hoop in a drawer.

Leaves turned scarlet, snowflakes fell, violets unfurled. Soon, it would be Mother’s Day, and she knew just what she’d do. She unearthed some white floss, took up her needle, and carefully stitched three small letters into the fabric. She paused, surveyed the letters, then underscored them with one final, affirming stitch. There. Now her gift was ready.

On Mother’s Day when I unwrapped her small offering, I wrapped her up in a huge hug. It was a perfect gift: a moment of captured time to hold in my hand and cherish forever, a daughter’s love made visible, a treasure in thread.

so much is in bud

so-much-is-in-bud

Beginnings

“From too much love of living,
Hope and desire set free,
Even the weariest river
Winds somewhere to the sea -“

But we have only begun
To love the earth.

We have only begun
To imagine the fullness of life.

How could we tire of hope?
– so much is in bud.

How can desire fail?
– we have only begun

to imagine justice and mercy,
only begun to envision

how it might be
to live as siblings with beast and flower,
not as oppressors.

Surely our river cannot
already be hastening
into the sea of nonbeing?

Surely it cannot
drag, in the silt,
all that is innocent?

Not yet, not yet-
there is too much broken
that must be mended,

too much hurt that we have done to each other
that cannot yet be forgiven.

We have only begun to know
the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must
complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.

~Denise Levertov, (1923 – 1997)

Love’s in need of love today

Love's in need of love today

Good morn or evening friends
Here’s your friendly announcer
I have serious news to pass on to everybody
What I’m about to say
Could be the world’s disaster
Could change your joy and laughter
To tears and pain

It’s that
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away
Hate’s going round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it’s gone too far. . .

~Stevie Wonder

only love

only love

Returning violence for violence
multiplies violence,
adding a deeper darkness
to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only love can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that.

~Martin Luther King, (1929 – 1968)