Saturday, January 31, 2009

Giving Away Strength


Just a simple piece of cotton cloth. With strings and maybe a pocket. Colorful. Useful. Fashionable once upon a time. Holder of eggs, apples, new chicks. Wiper of hands, brows, tears. Covered in flour, blood, cinnamon. Potholder, dishtowel, dust cloth. Stain blocker, dress preserver, substitute lingerie.
Symbol of strength. Endurance. Compassion. Sustenance. Safety. Nurturing love.
Every one's grandmother wore one. Mine still does.
I collect them. And wear them. Mostly for cooking. Sometimes for fun. Always with respect for the strength of the women who have gone before me. The ones who had less than me and did more with less than my generation can fathom.
I want to share this strength with you. This symbol of the Goddess of hearth and home, the Goddess of bountiful feasts, the Goddess of dignity in trying circumstances, the Goddess of love.
How you ask?
Leave me a comment stirred with sweetness. Wait for February 6th. One lovely believer in strength will have her (or his?) name drawn from the pocket to receive a colorful, vintage apron from my collection and a 5x7 professionally printed copy of the apron picture above. Be daring. De-lurk. Raise your hand for a little strength.

8 comments:

  1. How lovely these are! I don't really want another but since you do collect them, I was wondering if you'd like a couple more? They belonged to my grandmother, and honestly, I don't have any real use for them.

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  2. What a lovely photograph! I've always loved the look of aprons, so sweetly feminine yet practical and homey, but I've never owned one. Can I enter your drawing? :)

    It's been a few weeks since I visited here, possible even a month, and I've missed reading your beautifully inspiring words. I always gravitate here when I need to find a little peace and serenity or a bit of light to brighten a dark moment. Thank you for being a lightbearer.

    I know you are going through a lot in your own life yet you always manage to share a bit of your lovely spirit with all of us; always uplifting, inspiring, and nudging your readers towards thinking about things that are truly important such as giving love and sharing kindnesses with others.

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  3. Graciel this is such a lovely photograph! I too have a few aprons that belonged to my mother and grandmother and they are treasured for what they represent to me...the hours of love that went into perparing meals for family and friends. Aprons are such a lovely symbol of caring, nurturing and creativity and yet for many years (in the 60's and 70's, they were seen as a symbol of enslavement for women. Hopefully we've to come to a place of balance and appreciation now where we don't have to throw out the baby (apron) with the bathwater!

    I echo Flamingo Girl in my appreciation of your light filled spirit...this space is a haven of peace and love.

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  4. My mum sent me this,it is long but perfect for this post....

    The History of Aprons
    I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
    The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
    It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
    From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
    When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
    And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
    Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
    Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
    From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
    In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
    When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
    When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
    It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

    REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
    They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
    But I don't think anyone ever caught anything from an apron ..... but Love !!

    Appropriate:)Cheers, Shelagh

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  5. aprons are a symbol of the homespun life. they evoke memories of a simpler time and i am happy they are making a reappearence.

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  6. I can't tell you how I loved your words...about aprons! I adore aprons, and I always feel so spiritually connected to the women of my past when I wear one of few aprons. It is a symbol of Hestia, the Goddess of the Hearth and Home to me. Beautiful words! Thank you for sharing :)

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  7. Dear Graciel,
    I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I have to say you are such an inspiration.
    Thank you for your words and strength

    Peace and love,
    Kathy

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  8. Graciel, I love the photo of the aprons fluttering in the breeze on the clothesline. It brings back great memories of a simpler time for me. The apron really is a symbolic piece of clothing that represents much more than one first sees.

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I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel