Threadbare is to be without comfort or coziness, so they say…
The old woman walked down the street with the remnants of a long sweater that had once been beautiful. Each time she connected with a new friend or for each birth that she attended as midwife, she gave a thread from her multicolored woven cloak.
She pulled a bright blue thread on the day her first grandson was born and wove it into the soft, warm blanket she used to swaddle the child. “Blue like the sky,” she said as handed the precious bundle to his mother’s waiting arms. “The illimitable sky from which this child arrived from the heavens. Blue like the waves of Mother Ocean and our collective beginning and never-ending nature. Blue as the creative pulse radiating from your voice and hands.”
She pulled a yellow thread and braided it as a talisman of hope for the beggar who slept in the doorstep of the bakery. The baker traded him yesterday’s bread when the man swept the floor as the sunshine poured in through the windows and the scent of rising bread filled the air. She knew the beggar wanted a simpler life to beg forgiveness for the crimes he had committed against humanity. The old woman saw his heart without hope and gave him a sunshine yellow thread to provide the link to the immense possibilities and the innocence he was seeking.
The girl in pigtails who skipped through her days tickled the old woman’s heart. Leather-faced and smiling broadly, the woman’s eyes nearly disappeared in the folds of her soft skin. She tied silver threads into the child’s hair as a reminder to always look for the silver lining – not the meaning, for who knows the meaning of anything until the tapestry of our world is complete. No, in this case, the silver lining represents the road to follow: a road that shimmers luminescent with the magick and peace that follows you when you are in the flow of your life, your path. And so joyous platinum light preceded the girl all her life.
For many years, from sun up to sun down, the old woman sought the grace of humanity. Some days it was harder to find – dark days when the sweater cloak felt heavy and cumbersome. But each time she felt the connection to another run deep and true, a thread from her cloak loosened itself from the tangled weave to rest in the hand of the person who needed it most. The wisdom and gift resided in the symbolism of the color choice:
Red for the middle-aged woman with greying streaks in her hair who had forgotten how to trust her passion. Orange for the pubescent maiden who needed to embrace her sensuality in a safe environment. Green for the developer who had lost connection to the earth and had not walked barefoot on the grass in decades. Purple for those afraid of the night and the mysterious unknown to be a companion on the Dark Night of the Soul.
Her cloak may look shabby. But, those who have received a thread saw the love woven into their hearts and their community. So that none, least of all the old woman, felt meager or faded but bright and diaphanous as a threadbare rainbow.