Anniversary post

15 years today, my Love, we stood under that Lysiloma tree at the Hermosa Inn and it rained pungent yellow puff balls down on us. You with your fever caused by that exotic illness lurking in you– and then on top of that– 105 degrees that day. And me in my little glasses and my 89 dollar white dress. We walked down the aisle to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue coming from a boom box– tinny and soft– too quiet to fill the space. And it was perfect. We made those vows that we would later break– I vowed that I would be the raft if ever one of us was sinking– and much later we would sink. And I wasn’t the raft. I wasn’t ready to surrender or to be a woman just yet– but I knew one thing: I loved you. Then. And now. And you weren’t quite ready to be a man– but you would do. And here you are. And look at you now. We grew up together– in the Arizona desert for the past 20 years. The first decade was just us… waiting. Waiting, in a sense, for our parents to come home. But they never did. And so we became the parents. Our son came in and forever changed us– and we no longer orbited each other. We orbited him. And then he got sick– and you vanished behind the wallpaper– I grew up enough for both of us. And then he got well. But your dad didn’t. But then, our baby girl came into the world. So ready. Just in time. And then I lost you– for the first time. And you broke my heart. And, come to find out, I had unwittingly broken yours years before. I’m still sorry for that. We broke our vows, perhaps. But not on purpose. Because since the day I met you– and turned around in line to see the beauty of you smile at me– you have been my home. And even this year, I have wanted to tear down the walls of you and us. But, there we are again, best friends. Lovers. Champions. Warriors. Kids. Together. Remember when Pat said she had never seen two people muscle test stronger together than they were apart? We probably test stronger apart now– 15 years later. Stronger as individuals– maybe–but so very strong together. We did it. I am more proud of you than I have ever been. You have stepped into the fullness of you and it is beautiful to witness– if hard to endure the fourth year of school. It was worth it. Your compassion, intelligence and unflappability are my bedrock. And if I could write my vows again today– I’d say this: I vow to honor you and treat you as gently as the beautiful little boy you once were– to stare into your eyes as often as possible– to listen more and talk less– to remember the Us that used to wait around– for days and hours for our parents to come home– just being– just enjoying each other– making dinner– being alive– together. I love you. Happy anniversary.

It totally takes a village. Thank you, Village.

Sally, me, Danny, Sharon, Julie, Sharon, LaRose, Bonnie, and Becky

It takes a village to do just about everything well… at least it does for me. I can imagine exceptions to this rule–social proclivities and introversions that make some people prefer to fly solo. I can imagine feeling undeserving of the support and love of your community. But something has happened in the last half decade for me… actually, since having children. I now think almost everything is made better by the web of connection we share with each other. Parenting is for sure. Parenting babies alone, in a vacuum, can be isolating to say the least. But reaching out and holding the hands of friends and neighbors makes it all more fun, easier. 

I used to have friends over for playdates when my son was a young baby…around a year old. The mamas would talk and share and the babies would stagger around the back yard in that bewildered, toddling walk and investigate flowers and toys. Then bath time would come and we would throw all babies in the bath together. We would share the washing, the cleaning, the feeding, the diapers, wine, pajamas, organic broccoli puree, everything. That is when I learned about my village.

But in recent years and through my company, SUCH Designs, I have found many such villages everywhere I go. In fact, not just in my business, but in my whole life. I have a very lovely relationship with Fong, who is my postmaster at the post office. I see her many times a week. She is part of my web–my village. Our idle chat is a momentary flash of kindness and connection in my day. This sharing of life is deeply spiritual to me. If I could go so far as to make a big statement, I hope you will take it for what it is worth: I see the face of god in all of my relationships, big or small, enduring or fleeting. I see and learn more about whatever God is or means when my life overlaps with the lives of others. I put love out. I get love back. It is a simple math. 1+1=the abundant, radiant connection of a shared life. The more you give, the more you get.

This modern craft movement that we are all a part of is filled with that spirit of people seeking a village. We all love to get together to make stuff…to be near others and learn things as we create. It is in our bones to gather in such a way. It is an ancient, tribal urge. It feels really good. If you let it, your whole life begins to look like a sewing or painting class, a knitting circle, a yoga workshop….it spreads out and you see the divine connection in every relationship, all day long, everywhere. This feels like a sacred blessing to me. The only way I can describe is that it feels shimmering. It feels beautiful, connected, alive.

So, I have this new fabric line coming out in April with Windham Fabrics and many people volunteered to sew with it. I decided it would be fun to say yes to these women, many of whom I didn’t know well and others who had taken classes with me or heard my lectures at Bernina Connection of Arizona, my local shop. I emailed them all and held out my hands. Nine women gathered to sew. 
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