This post is dreadfully late, but at least it is appropriate to the season. When we returned home from our sojourn to Antarctica last winter I was greeted with an unexpected, but most welcome, package from my aunt.
I delight in the sentiment itself and in its simple, elegant presentation. In a minimum of words it conveys so much. If all you had to go on was the piece itself you would know the maker's age and her name and, more importantly, you would know of the existence of a warm relationship between an aunt and her niece or nephew. You would also be able to guess that the maker possesses vigor, given the energy it takes to stitch such a piece, and that she has a fine sense of humor, because she has included her age as though in a wink to the girls, some as young as five, in centuries past who stitched their ages into the designs of their samplers.
I have now hung this sampler in my little hallway gallery of cherished cross stitch samplers, a fitting place since it is now a neighbor of my own first sampler, which I completed as a girl in 1975 from a kit that Auntie Lu gave to me as a Christmas gift.
These two pieces together illustrate to me how lives are intertwined and how our actions can be sources of unexpected inspiration. When Auntie Lu gave me that little kit so many Christmases ago she couldn't know that it would lead to many hours of creative pleasure and to my ongoing and wide-ranging interest in textiles and needlework. Likewise, I doubt that she realized that this new sampler would go beyond bringing "peace to this house," but would be a constant reminder to me to act with thoughtfulness and kindness because it does make a difference, if not today, then surely another day.
Thank you, dear Auntie Lu, for all of your gifts.