Two years ago, my neighbor gave me her deceased sister's former sewing machine, a 1961 Singer. The top of the Singer cabinet became a catch all for recyclables, canning jars and all things extraneous on their way to the garage. That is until last week.
For some reason on the eve of my 52nd birthday, I lifted the body of the Singer from the cabinet's underworld. I then sat down and escorted thread through various loops and parts and through the eye of the needle where it met up with the bobbin thread from below. A gentle nudge of my foot to the peddle and hand to the wheel created a hum and stitch blending time and blurring boundaries. Suddenly forty years ago was Now.
Three inches of thread woven in and out of fabric evidenced my remembering a pattern from time long prior when my grandmother taught me to thread her Singer and sew. In sensory time, I was in her living room yet I was in my home. Thanks to my senses and safety, I was in my body.
A day later, I dug around in my lettuce bed. I've had this small spot for three summers. The first summer it held no signs of prior life. Last year, year #2, I dug around and created the lettuce bed which I shortly learned was formerly the poppy bed for the prior owners. I didn't know this as I fed friends my first homegrown lettuce. I thought the whitish leaves with jagged edges were part of the mix I had sprinkled and sown weeks prior. It was only after some of the lettuce leaves shot up two feet high with buds and blooms that I realized we had eaten poppy leaves.
Not knowing poppies don't take to being moved, I began the poppy relocation project, insisting they grow in another area, not in what I deemed my garden.
On this recent day as I thinned, weeded and watered the lettuce, I mourned the poppies not rising from their transplanted home. I had anticipated their emergence, regularly inspecting the area in which I had placed them.
Loving nature and growing things, their loss was my loss. Loving nature and growing things, I was ultimately elated upon closer inspection to find tiny poppy beginnings scattered all about growing again in the lettuce. Fortunately knowing their needs better than me, the poppies insisted on growing in the space that had been their home.
I continued my tending careful to work around every little emerging poppy plant. I marveled at the memory of seed and pondered the energy awakened through loving engagement in both seed memory and me as happened the day before with my grandmother’s machine.
There’s a magic in experiencing the present on a sensory level. In shorter than a second, I had felt the former me, a pre-teen internally at home, learning to sew. In shorter than a second, I went from sadness to gladness while working in the lettuce.
How had I gotten so far away from the magic of my sensory self?
Over the decades, like the Singer standing near the door I became the catch all for so much belonging to others, their energies, judgments and fears. Yet my loving, safe grandmother planted positive memory seeds in the garden of my body’s experience.
Thanks to my neighbors gift and Earth’s soil, my senses and presence in the present, memory was awakened while sewing and sowing reminding me of the magic of deep engagement and what it is like to be home inside, fully alive.
Earth too like the Singer has been the catch all for so much, a catch all for our many actions intentionally and unconsciously as happened with my transplanting the poppies, putting my needs first as to their home.
I imagine Earth’s body filled with memory, the energy of rocks, soil and trees as well as the heart-based energy of animals that have come here and passed. I imagine dormant energetic seeds of deeds enacted over Time.
Earth’s body like the Singer awaits ready to be lifted from the Underworld of the unconscious and shadow so threads of the above may be sown and engaged with threads of the below. We are walking, waking Singers with the opportunity to engage with Earth’s body memory through loving intention and presence for Earth too is the Singer very much alive.
Threads of memory woven through the fabric of time linger in the body, Earth’s, yours and mine.
Threads of memory woven through the fabric of time wait to be evoked, want to come alive.
Threads of memory sing in us all.
Threads of memory. Sense their rise.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 2 June 2011