Cottage Violets

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Little Squares of Heaven

We live in a disposable world. No one, that I know of, darns socks anymore. Do you use cloth napkins at your dinner table? Hmmmm, I thought not. For that matter, is there china in your picnic basket? Well, I seem to have wandered far afield from the subject I was pondering.

Last night I was going through my hankie stash. I have a nice collection of around three dozen hankies, some of which are for sale at Cottage Violets. I love to look at them and weave stories about them. I tend to set aside the baser use of these little bits of fluff. Men's handkerchiefs are reserved for nose blowing and other unmentionable practices, lol. In the movies, women's hankies were reserved for flirting and grieving. Example, son stays out late with questionable company, and moms sits up waiting, wringing handkerchief between fidgeting fingers. Or, there is the classic girl wants fellas attention, so she walks by and nonchalantly drops her hankie in his path. Hankies were also used as pretty props. How many times have you seen a waitress with her hankie tucked in her sleeve or under her wristwatch. No doubt about it, hankies were and still are eye candy. They draw the eye to the area one is trying to accentuate. If I think of one pinned to the chest with a pretty brooch, it is always a teacher or librarian I am thinking of. If the hankie is tucked up a sleeve or held firmly under one's wristwatch it is always a waitress or some one's long suffering grandmother. If I see a hankie falling to the ground, I am reminded of : 1. A siren going after the innocent unprepared gent. 2. The innocent unprepared belle trying to get a man's attention. Now hankies are consigned to drawers, made into pillows, and "repurposed" into any number of handicrafts. Mine sit in a tissue lined box waiting to go to other homes, or hoping I will once again open the box and weave love stories around their existence. Speaking of love stories, I have tender memories of going to church as a small girl holding in my hand a little handkerchief with a nickel for the offering tied firmly in its depths. What better love story could there be? There is something so lovely about that memory, that I cannot think about handkerchiefs without it bubbling to the surface of my thoughts. When I look at my little stash I think how many dimes, nickels, pennies, were tied lovingly in the depths of these hankies. How many mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and big sisters took the time to prepare a little offering, all tied up in a bit of fluff. Next time you see a hankie think of the path it followed. It is definitely more than just a little square of pretty cloth. It might have held precious tears, started a life long relationship, or held a dime or nickel for an offering that changed some one's life.

In his holy flirtation with the world,

God occasionally drops a handkerchief.

These handkerchiefs are called saints.

Frederick Beuchner

Have a beautiful blessed day,