Skip to content

Comfort and Connection

February 1, 2021

Maybe it’s getting older.  Maybe it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s the realities of living during a pandemic. Lately, I have spent a fair amount of time in reflection . . . just simply longing. My yearning has little to do with material things.  I am also not hoping with persistent angst of returning to “normal” because there are many aspects of that existence I simply do not miss.

As winter settles in, I find that this year is no different than other winters.  While I love the beauty of the four seasons in Minnesota, I will forever be a Florida girl, and the melancholy gray of winter often drains me.  I long for summer sunshine, but mostly I long for the comfort of the sights, smells, feels, and joys of my childhood days and all the people associated with those memories. Sadly, some of those people have gone on home to Jesus, but my heart aches to have my Mama’s breakfast with biscuits and eggs or my Nannie’s chicken and dumplings.  Oh, to be able to talk in circles with my Papa, and to have my hands grasped by my Granddaddy’s followed by his quintessential Hey Granddaughter! would be one of the greatest joys in a time that isn’t what any of us envisioned. 

While wistful dreaming always brings a smile to face, I decided late last summer and early fall to take tangible steps to bring the connection I long for into my winter months, especially my February.  I embraced years ago the Scandinavian concept of hygge (which I have to believe my adopted Norwegian grandmother, Leone, is beaming in heaven and probably telling my Southern grandparents that was one of her contributions to my development). Rather than focusing on all that is not, I have become intentional about doing the things that bring me joy – finding comfort in keeping intentional connection. I’ve been cooking in my Nannie’s cast iron skillet more, and even developed a black-eyed pea recipe that I know she would adore.  Just like my youngest says at her bakery business stand at the Farmer’s Market, I’ve enjoyed a few foods (biscuits and cornbread, y’all) that are definitely good for my soul, but maybe not for my hips, and I have not lost one minute of sleep over that decision. 

Many years ago, on a visit to my Mama’s house, we went through the closets of the front bedroom that was once mine when I lived with her and Papa in graduate school.  She was ready to clean out some things, and in our exploration, we discovered a few quilt tops that had never been finished.  I asked her what she was going to do with them.  Her response was nothing. She didn’t quilt much at that time, preferring to crochet instead.  As I had only recently gotten into quilting, I asked her if I could have them.  So, with little space in a minivan with four kids, I packed up three quilt tops when we headed on up the road back to Minnesota. 

When we got home, the busyness of life filled our days and those quilt tops were packed in the back of a closet at my house.  Apparently, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree as those beautiful heirlooms (based on the paper piecing on the back some of the newspapers dated to the 1960s) went from closet to closet.  That is until, I decided to be intentional in preparing for the quiet and reflective moments of winter.  As the leaves started to turn, I pulled those old tops out, bought some batting, and fabric for the backs. I spent weeks tying the quilts as they were never really meant for machine quilting, and then completed the binding, using the backs as the borders.  With each one, I thought of the connections through time and love that those pieces of fabric brought to me.

Now as winter has settled in, when I have those moments of longing for warmer places and a whole lot more sunshine, I wrap up in the warmth of one of the quilts. Bathed in memories, the fabric and stitches embody the love shared across generations and remind me of the faith and hope they all passed down to me. Even though longing still comes, the love that transcends heaven and earth will carry me through even the darkest days.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: