Tactile memory

Confession. I have had my mother’s sewing machine sitting in my kitchen for nearly a year.

At some point last spring, while cleaning out my storage unit, I thought, “I should take this home to play with it. To see if I really need to keep it”. It’s shuffled around in my kitchen, between this corner and that.

Today, we sat together.


I opened the machine and smiled at this old friend. I learned this trade on her, under the guidance of my Mom. I smiled at the 1990’s printing. But more….I smiled at how easily this all came back.

It was a treasure-hunt of my mind. To go back to the corners of childhood and htink- yes, this is where the thread goes now, and WAIT, oh goodness how funny you placed the spool in the wrong place!

And getting it to work, what a joy. There was laughter and a smile and a soft current of memories.

How Mom always had me thread the needle….and today I remembered why. (Cuz its DANG hard and small!)

How I made countless (ok probably more like 3) skirts, tons of bags, and one beautiful gown on this machine.

How we always used it on our kitchen table for the best lighting in the house….as I did today. WIthout question.

How tactile these memories were….and how easily my own remembrance of how to use this machine was- its the most mechanical tool from my childhood.

I have no project to do, nothing to sew, but rather explored this joy. I remembered a package had arrived for me so stepped out my back door to walk to the mailbox.


Immediately. A blue jay. Mom.


What beautiful gifts there are. Not in spite of this pandemic. But concurrently. With this pandemic. For life is whole.


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