Honoring My Heritage

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I saw my mom making a picture using a needle and thread. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was doing a cross-stitch kit. It was pretty neat to see and I wanted to learn it too. So she decided to teach me the art of cross-stitching.

She started me off with a kit that had a large plastic needle and canvas, yarn instead of thread, and I made my first textile art of flowers. I had fun spending this time with her. She was passing on some of her heritage of the art of cross-stitching.

Her mother (my grandmother) did cross-stitch, embroidery, sewing, quilting, and crotchet too. My grandmother learned it from her elders, and so on back into my maternal lineage.

Over the years, I have done many kits for myself and others. I once did a kit of a family of wolves (by Designs for the Needle: Nature’s Window-Wolf Family) for a now ex-boyfriend. Kind of glad to not do anymore wolves. Still, someone thought I like wolves and gifted me, to my chagrin, a family of wolves’ kit. I laughed as it was the same kit that I had done for that ex. I really resented the Universe for gifting me this particular arrangement and left the kit buried under a pile of projects.

Until one day, as I was organizing my craft cabinet and came across that family of wolves. I sat and looked at it. I saw a matriarch with her pups. It made me think of my matriarchal ancestry. I reflected on how the mere fact that I want to work in textiles as an art therapist and it all started with learning the art of cross-stitching. So I decided to do this kit to honor my heritage and give a silent nod of thanks to the Universe for gifting me this skill.

In the spirit of the season of giving, it is important to look back on all who came before me, the skills, knowledge, and encouragement, to show gratitude from the heart. I give thanks to the many women who came before me, from family to friends, from teachers to classmates, one and all, thank you for all for opening your hearts in my past, present, and future.

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