Although I am an indifferent cook, I love to set a cheerful table, even when I dine alone. This placemat is the first in a series I have called Table for One. There are four place mats woven from the same warp, but each has its distinctive style.
This is Maija’s mat, named in honor of the woman who was my big Glimåkra’s first owner. The loom came to me with a box of poppana, rolls of bias cut cotton strip that was made to be used as weft. The bias cut edges give a gentle chenille texture to the finished cloth.
It was an interesting warp, designed with only a vague idea in mind. The threading was for Monks’ Belt, which also gave me plain weave. I took advantage of both.
As the snow falls enthusiastically outside, my mind is actually focused beneath the snow, and beneath the frozen crust of garden soil. I can sense an almost imperceptible stirring. The spring bulbs are awakening, gathering strength for their journey. This is the season for garden catalogs and for living on the cusp between dreams and plans.
It also snowed that Imbolc night in Manhattan when S. and I lead the public ritual. We all sat on the floor, while the lights on the altar flickered above us. Did I really lead a meditation on a spring bulb’s journey toward awakening? I must have, because I remember giving everyone in circle some paperwhite bulbs to take home and grow in a pot on the window sill. It was my farewell gift. I was being called to a more traditional form of practice that is grounded in a direct connection with the land. I knew I couldn’t thrive in a pot on the window sill. I never could.
In a few minutes, I will go out and shovel some snow to make room for more snow to fall. Then, I’ll put on my mother’s red cloak, and take up my broom and a pail of milk to give the traditional Imbolc blessing to the land.
May you also be blessed, and remember that, like a spring bulb, you hold within you everything that you need to make your dreams a reality.