Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Night of Sleep in a Sewing Room

I know I've mused on this theme before but allow me to visit it again; the theme of being swept into the idea that comfort (and all of the things associated with that word 'comfort'), somehow equals happiness.  Here's the thing; we all need comfort; both emotional and physical.  We need a warm home to shield us from our bitter cold winters and we need loving arms to embrace us each and every day.  But do we really and truly need pillows on our beds with three times the puffiness of when I grew up?  Or sheets with a minimum of 600 thread count (whatever that means)?  I remember once baking with my grandmother and I accidentally dropped an egg on the floor.  She calmly opened a cupboard where hundreds of 6-inch cotton squares were neatly piled. She had cut them up from threadbare cotton sheets.  I don't think paper towel ever darkened her door because she used and reused rags until they simply disintegrated into thin air. 

I would say that I am fortunate and that I have very little to complain about and yet still I get swept into wanting the finest tea or the softest cotton.  And then something comes along to throw me into a short stint of discomfort.  And suddenly I see the world differently. Not at first of course.  At first, I'm annoyed.  But once I relax, the gifts of the situation begin to unravel.

The other week, I was visiting my daughter and two of her friends arrived also on the same night.  She lives in a small apartment so I offered to find a hotel.  She suggested that instead, I sleep in her tiny sewing room (which is actually a sun porch). So we got it all set up with a camping roll-out mattress and a blanket and there I slept.  Initially when I curled up under the coveres, I had trouble sleeping. The floor underneath felt hard and because the room is full of windows, the sounds of traffic were heavy in my ears.  I turned on the light and read a chapter of Nicholas Nickelby and suddenly my thoughts shifted.  I began to look around the room and see all of my daughter's treasures and sewing projects.

It hearkened me back to when she was a little girl and she dressed herself in the most ecclectic and inspired ways. And then I began to think of my own mother and how she could let in or take out any pair of jeans; she could sew the neatest zipper I've ever seen; she once made all her own clothes (prior to the birth of her seven children) and to this day, I take my mending over to her.  As I muse on all of this, each item in the sewing room become like tiny treasures. 
And then, in the morning, I wake up feeling as if I had slept inside a huge, lusciously green tree. All this because I didn't take a hotel room.  All this because I had experienced an hour or two of discomfort, which quickly reverted to a delightful night in a sewing room.