pulling a thread

My Aunt Re taught me to sew. She was sixty years my senior, meticulous, warm, loving, formal (she wore a girdle under her house coat) and one of the smartest people I have ever met. She worked in a travel agency at a time where career options for women were extremely limited. She saved her pennies so that, after the bills were paid, she could travel. She traveled all over the world. She taught me, to value other people and their cultures. She taught me to learn a craft, to be careful with my things, to listen and to be kind. She made most of the clothing she and her sister, my Aunt Mimi, wore. They dressed impeccably. She is the one who showed me how to do things like pull a thread through a fabric to make a perfectly straight line to cut along. I did exactly that this morning and as I pulled the thread carefully through the fabric, I saw her hands as she taught me, three decades ago. It's a lovely thing, on a winter morning, to stand in the sunlight coming through the window, feel the heat from the radiator and the coolness from the window, to slowly find the beginning of the thread and then pull it through the cloth. With each, pull and gather and stretching out again I am drawn back to them, my Aunts Re and Mimi. I wonder who I will give this to. This knowledge, this simple trick.  Who will learn how to move slowly through a day to create something? Who will be standing at a window, decades from now, smiling as they remember?

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