Dear Fellow Travelers,
I have always loved the rich textures and colors of tapestries and, like the soulful lyricist, Carol King, often thought of my life as a tapestry. Once on a castle tour in Ireland, a guide challenged us to find a mistake in the design of an elaborate wall covering. He explained that French tapestry makers were known for deliberate flaws in their weaving as a way to show humility before God. I like the idea of imperfections being present without destroying the beauty of the image just as life holds its own “flaws” amidst the joys.
On the website they say this about tapestries:
In the middle Ages, tapestries had a purely utilitarian function.
They were originally designed to protect medieval rooms from
damp and cold weather, to cover austere walls of big castles,
or to insulate big rooms into more comfortable quarters.
Several words & phrases in this description catch my attention: protect, cover austere walls (make more beautiful), insulate, more comfortable. And it makes me think about how this is exactly what a family provides for its members. My family has been experiencing one of those “imperfect” times as we gather to support one of our members who is transitioning. As the days have gone by, I have watched children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, siblings, in-laws, future in-laws, nieces and nephews bring their own unique color and design to our tapestry. Members of the family have been advocates protecting my sister-in-law from rushed or forced decisions, others have stayed by her bedside around the clock to insulate her from loneliness and fear. They have worked to make her more comfortable on all levels, body, mind & spirit. All of us have made this time more beautiful for her and each other as we have shared food, stories, hugs, laughter & tears. We’ve even had a musical offering posted on Facebook so she could hear it from a distance.
Some of the early tapestries are called “mille fleurs”. These have a single figure or a close group in the foreground with a background full of plants or flowers, i. e. “thousand flowers”. I see my family as the close group in the foreground with a thousand people who may play smaller parts in our lives but, nevertheless, fill in space and add beauty in the background Currently, these would be nurses, hospice workers and even the cashier at Burger Box.
The famous weaving houses developed reputations for huge, intricate works and these were used by the people of the time as a show of wealth and power. My family is neither wealthy nor powerful by the world’s standards, but in these past few weeks I have come to see the richness in our extended circle and the power of love. We are weathering this storm together, sheltering each other from the elements by bringing our individual threads of color to the design. In this time of stormy spring weather, I wish for you an experience of family that, like a carefully crafted tapestry, provides you with protection, beauty and comfort. If you find yourself at a place in life where you'd like to add more and aren't certain how to make a shift, I'd be honored to help.
Blessings & Light,
My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous, woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.