My grandmother taught me how to sew. She calmed my young hands and guided my initial stitches. She instructed as I somewhat clumsily completed a cross-stitch section of the Christmas stocking for my new baby brother.
In my projects today I still get as impatient as I was at seven. In my rush, the thread knots and twists. I yank at it, and just leave a mess on the back side. I mean, who’s ever going to see that part?
My grandmother taught me to turn it over and check the back. I could never understand why I should care about the part no one could see. She always stressed that it should look close to as good as the front. But why? I’d insist.
The fact that it’s hidden does not make it any less important. It’s the secret pride in your own craftsmanship and the dedication to doing something right, not just doing it. To take the time and care and love to do something in a way that only you will see. That only you will ever know about.
The hidden side is the true mark of the crafts(wo)man. Of the love and care to create something not only as an outward gift, but for yourself.
I’m working on my hidden side. Having the patience, the love and the forethought to value what no one else will ever see. Being asked so much this week how I’m doing, I don’t have an answer. Instead, I’ve sewn. I’ve created. I’ve poured out love and tears into a silly project for a friend because I know he’ll get it. And he won’t see the back. But I will.
Yes, they’re rainbow dolphins. Rainbow friendship dolphins that someone will get this week…
Dispatch this week to: BILL PEDEN