Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Monday, March 29, 2004  

Mmmmmm. This is what I was yearning for - a Monday morning and I don't have to leave home! I don't think I would leave even if I were being whisked back to Stony Mountain or up to Hunt Country Yarns. I get to STAY HOME!! Even more fun, I get to entertain a friend. Jen is coming for the day and we shall play. Nothing is planned and it looks like rain, so it's definitely not a fiber dye day - besides, she does that for a living - but we might play with our wheels, and I'd really like to show her the Patsy Zawistoski novelty yarn video. I'd like to watch it again myself.

But best of all - I just don't have to leave home.

Yesterday we attended a funeral at Vauters Church. This is an 18th century edifice, a simple country structure, part of the old Church of England tax supported religion of colonial America. It's a truly lovely building - and the parishioners have kept it simple. They even had the extreme good taste to build their parish hall as a separate building, instead of tacking it on like some slick pimple, connected to the graceful old structure by a bricked passage. I see so much of this with beautiful old churches. There is a Baptist church in King & Queen county - supreme Federal Style elegance on a high point along the ridge between the Rappahannock River and the Mattaponi - its tall glass windows, with their 200 year old clear glass panes, glittering the sun's rays back on the surrounding countryside with each dawn and each sunset. It's back in the country, along an old Indian footpath, itself probably laid over an even more ancient animal trail, part of the old road system that connects Beazley and Helmut. In other words - you won't know about it unless you live here. But how sad it is, that something of such elegance, taste, beauty, and serene completeness is now going to be destroyed by the attachment of a Sunday School building, with Anderson Windows (so easy to clean) and vinyl stripping, complete with convenient bricked-in passage so you don't have to use an umbrella going from one building to another.

Well - I neither attend the church nor have the right to begrudge the owners their comfort - but I deeply regret the loss of a scene of perfect proportion and staggering beauty that used to thrill my eyes and heart as I made the trek from home to Mama's.

Ah - but to travel back to Vauters - where enough Episcopalian guilt lingers to give taste the edge over physical covenience - I couldn't help but cast my eyes out over the gathering, as I sat in those unbelievably narrow, straight box pews, and ponder. Such a place of ghosts. This church is 300 years old. These families, present to bid one of their own farewell, were here when it was built. The faces are still the same - the only difference is the clothing - and believe me, I wished I had on a nice steel boned corset; it would have made it easier to sit on those miserable seats. There were the Bairds; the Dickensons, both branches; the Garnetts, who used to live on my farm - back when it was an 8,000 acre plantation called Greenfield and went from the river up to Highway 17; all the Osbourns - descendants of the great Blandfield Wedding, which gran'ma attended as a wee child back in 1914. There were Ellises - cousins of BD, and Rennolds, also some sort of distant kin, who were another family that owned this farm, but in the 19th century, when it was called Rennolds' Quarter, back before BD's grandfather bought it as a dowry property for his baby girl. Of course there is always a Baylor at every funeral, because Bob Baylor's wife works for the funeral home. And there were the newcomers, like the Colemans - who fold into the community and bring fresh ideas, and, after a while, fresh genes. And the returnees - like the Carters - gone for 100 years, but back now.

It is a powerful thing to see centuries roll past your eyes. The ancient prayers - albeit spiffed up to please city folk - the wavering glass in the windows - the magnolia branches flanked with pale daffodils, arranged in vases on the sills - the haze of early spring green making lace out of the forest. It was a glorious warm day - cloudy all morning, but opening up to sunshine in time for the service. David was a farmer. It was a fitting farewell to have the outdoors invited in to his funeral. Both sets of doors were flung open so those who didn't get to the church early enough could crowd close and feel connected.

Sometimes, in the acts of the small world, we get a glimpse of the big picture. It fills me with peace and comfort, even at a sad moment like this. Perhaps it is the very sadness of a funeral that gives us the insight to grasp something so enormous. Whatever it is, though - I am so glad I am a part of this enormous tapestry - this thing called life.

posted by Bess | 7:37 AM