Thursday, January 3, 2013

What We Carry Things In

5 inches x 8 inches
Sides crocheted together
What do you carry with you when you move from the Old World to the New? What did Ragna carry with her on board the ship from Denmark? Precious items we hold dear are carried with us in velvet lined boxes or in acid free paper or special frames under ultra violet protective glass. The way we package things attests to the significance we place on them. Musical instruments lay snug in their cases. Your grandmother's brooch is placed in a jewelry box. Your best china has a cabinet all its own. I would love to ask Ragna what she kept in this touching little bag so lovely cross stitched, edged in crochet and lined with a carefully made lining secured by tiny, careful little stitches. Both sides are identically crossstitched with embroidery threads on a cotton background. Small eyelets were crocheted with tiny stitches out of the same embroidery thread used in the cross stitching, and a single chain of crochet thread is pulled through the eyelets to form a drawstring. The striking Scandinavian motif attests to the maker's Danish heritage and is of an age old traditional design of stylized flower flanked on either side by two small diamonds down low. This little bag, made with great care, most surely was meant to keep something special and safe in, what was it? A prayer book? A photo of someone she loved? Silver perhaps? Or, was it made by somebody else and given to Ragna as a gift? Somebody aware of, or perhaps sharing in, her Danish background? Was it made to say. . ."Remember me. Do not forget me here left behind in Denmark." If that was the truth then love was put into this bag, and hope was put into this bag, and friendship too, all kept safe in the tiny stitches and careful work that was expressed in its construction. Those emotions of the heart were carried safely that way to the New World and through the years of a lifetime and on into several generations still safe, still treasured. And isn't that what protective cases are meant to do? 

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