The BBC series Larks Rise to Candleford took the last paragraph of Flora Thompson’s semi-biographical books and turned it into a poem. The scene created on screen is as heartwarming and gentle as the book.
“As I went on my way,
Gossamer threads spanned from bush to bush like barricades,
As I broke through one after another
I was taken by a childish fear.
They are trying to bind and keep me here.
But as I grew from girl to woman,I knew
The threads that bind me were more enduring than gossamer.
They were spun of kinship and love,
Given so freely that it could never be taken away from me.
My husband had set the program for me to watch on this first day of the new year. After dinner, I settled down in my favorite spot with one of my favorite furry companions.
I listened to the poem and thought of the furry creatures (and not so furry ones) that bind me to my world.
And then I thought of those who had extended me friendship, kindness and love who were not “kin” but who were, none the less, part of my family, part of the threads that hold me to this earth.
There are many that I have never met. They exist only in an ether that modern life has created. To them, I thank them for their thoughts, their writings, their photographs, their feelings and their courage. I consider them my friends for they have read the words that my brain puts forth on these pages.
There are those that have entered my life because I tried something new. They are women of creativity, intellect and courage. They teach me something new every time I am with one or more of them. They bring me lightness and light. The longer we weave together the stronger the threads between us become.
There are those that share the music that sits in my soul and must escape through my mouth. They gently correct the rogue note or the discordant tone. They smile when the music begins to mesh. They fly with me when we sing as one voice in a piece that makes the heart soar. They are my family.
There are people I have known, literally, since my birth or theirs. They are part of who I am. They are the changing colors of the weft of my fabric. I cherish them. I love them. I hold them close in my heart.
Then there is “kin”. I did not chose my brothers but I would not have chosen any others.
(It occurred to me that our first names were all Scots/Irish –William, Daniel and Gael–though our immediate family were English, Norwegian and Swedish! The realization came that our names came from our great-grandfather’s family who came to the United States at least 150 years ago. But I digress.)
These two people guided me and molded me into the person that sits with a dog on her lap every night. Into the person that sings from her soul and weaves from her heart. The gossamer threads are strong enough to bind through all the crisis, all the disagreements, all the death. They will last as long as I draw breath.
My child knows my heart and I need not say more here. (She would be very upset if I did!)
My spouse also knows my heart. But it may just be appropriate to say that he knows me well enough and cares such for me that he would have me watch Larks Rise to Candleford.
The threads of our lives, of my life, are strong. They are gentle, soft, unbreakable cables. They are made of wool and cotton, of notes and staffs, of birth and death.
They were built by wonderful people through every stage of my existence.
On this first day of this particular year, I thank them all. I wish them peace, love and music. And a nice warm blanket when they need one.
Happy New Year!