Many thanks to Levina Kollar for today’s post.
A simple task, tearing apart a knee blanket made some eighty years ago by my mother to warm the aging knees of my grandmother, rectangular wool swatches on one side, matted cotton batting for additional warmth and then thin, faded green cotton, durable still. My father’s clothing business provided the wool from sample books where men chose the fabric for their credit ordered suits. When discarded, the books became magnets for Mother’s creativity and purposefulness. Now the parts, still sturdy, the wool covered with the fur of cats, a sleeping pad, but now fodder for composting.
Memories rise as the torn strips are ripped and scissored before tossing onto the oak leaves atop the pile. Hours spent in sewing swatches into strips and strips into a rectangle, with green woolen thread anchoring the pieces together as the final chore, the time arduous task accomplished over weeks, months, or perhaps a year. The purposes of the blanket later extended beyond Grandma’s knees: doll bedding, padding for babies beneath more luxurious coverings in prams, protection for plants that bloomed before the last frost of the season, and then for a cozy cat bed in an unheated mud room.
My gardening mother would have chuckled at such a strange use for her worn out handiwork, but I think she would be pleased, knowing it would replenish the soil in another season.
On Good Friday, perhaps it is a spiritual practice to toss those habits in our lives that are worn and beyond repair onto a place where they can rest in darkness, waiting to be transformed into nourishment for rooting us more deeply into a soil that will grow more fruit.