It’s late. My muscles ache, my brain is a bubbling stew of reminders, my shoulders yearn to shrug off the weight of the day.
The couch swallows me whole as I collapse into its soothing billows.
My mind begins to calm. My back begins to untie its convoluted web of knots.
My fingers begin to itch.
Something… something is missing.
A wearied glance across the room catches my sewing machine in a state of neglect, a state of nervous anticipation.
The dim light casts ghostly shadows on my work in progress, misshapen and fetus-like, yet to take its first breath as a finished garment.
Dare I hoist up my listless limbs from my upholstered oasis?
Dare I sacrifice further exhaustion of the body for invigoration of the mind, exhilaration of the spirit?
Before I can adequately ponder this perilous trade, I hear the wooden floorboards creaking beneath my feet…
Bright lights flood my sewing table.
My eyes cringe, widen, focus, ignite.
Before me lies the antidote to the menagerie of ailments that plagued me throughout the day.
Bernina, my beloved apothecary.
Fabric, soft and malleable and dancing with dots and stripes and checks.
Scissors, sharp and imposing, powerful and precise in my capable, if tired hands.
Spools of thread in every color, pins and rulers at the ready.
Chalk, with its ephemeral alchemy, eager to prescribe my every move.
With the flip of a switch, the purr of my freshly oiled machine flows through my veins like life-giving blood.
Foot to pedal, fingers to fabric, needle to unending reservoir of thread.
My healing has begun.
Hours later, I emerge from a sea of multicolored lint, fabric scraps, and thread tails, wide-eyed and victorious.
Tales of crooked seams and ignored directions shall never be uttered, for the seam ripper knows better than to share its dirty secrets.
I raise my finished garment to the sky, as if the entire jungle is eagerly awaiting its new king.
IT HAS ARRIVED!
Apparently the healing powers of a freshly constructed garment are only effective on a particular set of precious souls.
Do rolled eyes and exasperated smirks count as reverential appreciation?
At the peak of simultaneous physical exhaustion and spiritual fulfillment, my body once again collapses, this time in a puddle of joy and delight.
My fingers, now sore and red with pin pricks, rest contentedly, having fulfilled their creative yearning.
At least, until tomorrow.
As I drift off to sleep, occasionally forcing open my heavy lids to catch one last glimpse of my shiny new garment, I remind myself that this ritual is deeply rooted within me.
My heart pumps with the passion of my mother and grandmother.
Their knowing hands nurturing, caring, making, healing.
And perhaps one day I will teach another how to heal her body and soul with the ritual of making.
I am at peace.
My eyes close.
My hands unwind.
But I still hear the purr of the machine, softly flowing through me, waiting to once again be unleashed.