When my daughter decided to wake up from her nap super early, my husband had the idea to go to a little old cemetery that is close to our house, Pond Springs Cemetery. I used to go when I was younger and feeling very sensitive and artsy with my friends and do rubbings and think soulfully and what not, but had not been since.
I had forgotten how many children's graves there are in this particular graveyard and it hit me especially hard now that I'm a mother of a 15 month old, imagining what life must have been like for mothers long ago who had to accept their childrens' mortality as a fact of life.
Most of the graves that drew my attention were from the 1870s-1920, partly because I was obviously attracted to the oldest stones for their aesthetic, but also because there were so many. It was really sad and made me want to do something to honor the women and children, which I know is silly, but as a mother, I felt oddly responsible for their memories, even though they are strangers to me.
I started to brainstorm about the thoughts and emotions swirling around in my head. Am still not sure what will come of it, but, at the very least, I'm pursuing more information and finding inspiration.
Doing research about the time period organically led me to my long standing love of embroidery history. Having always been curious about the history of embroidery samplers, I was really interested to come upon samplers that served as memorials as well as a quote from Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus: "Fair Philomel, she but lost her tongue And in a tedious Sampler sewed her mind."
Just imagining the lives of these women that I strive in vain to be more like with my bread-making and craftiness humbles me and makes me so grateful for the life I'm privileged to lead.
Anyway, I'm a little consumed right now with symbolism and sisterhood, thought I would share.