Sleeping Under History

The chilly and darker nights have come. I have been busy rescuing my ancient quilts from the dark closets where they spend the warmer months. As I handle these precious treasures, I notice all of the thousands of patterns, colors, stitches that have gone into their making. Nimble fingers of thrifty Riddle and Baker women of long ago, worked out these patterns and designs. I am sure the beauty of the quilting brought pleasure, but fulfilling the want of their family's winter warmth and comfort, answered a greater primal need. Quilting was not just an art form, but a necessity preformed with love and often by sacrifice. Long busy days were full of cooking on a wood stove, washing with a wringer washer, gathering cold stiff clothes from the line, then cooking again all the while caring for and loving the children and the men. A time for quilting; and it was with the help of dim and smelly evening lamps.

Now I sleep so cozily under these cotton rainbows,fashioned once upon a time, I do so not from necessity but rather by choice. I dream of those women, and of the long hard winter, nights they helped make bearable far in the distant past. I dream of the hard Kentucky wind blowing through loosened door jams, of ice making mirrors of brittle windowpanes. I dream of the quilt that I am sleeping under, tossed upon a feather tic bed, the first November snow has sprinkled it lightly, drifting through a screen onto the side porch.This is where a fair-haired boy slept until his mother finally made him come inside to spend the deep winter nights.

My pensive thoughts concerning my heirloom quilts have given me a new insight on the subjects of beauty and necessity, and I have come to understand that necessity can give birth to beauty,in many ways and in many forms.

The greater truth reminds me, God can use necessity to turn us again to the beauty of His restoration. Thanks be..............


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