One should spend the last day of the year on an adventure. That’s what we did. Along with some dear friends who are here for a visit, Sherod, Maria and I went down to Gee’s Bend in Wilcox County, Alabama. Gee’s Bend is about an hour away from here. It is also where the quilts come from. The amazing quilts of a group of African American women whose works of art have won them world-wide recognition. You can see some of their quilts here and read about the Gee’s Bend quilters here. Sherod grumbled a bit about heading down there, unsure if anything would be open today, wondering if all we’d do was take a long country ride. There was one woman at work on a quilt when we got there and then a room full of quilts and quilt objects for sale.
The quilt I wanted was $7500. This was what we settled for instead, considerably less expensive and still beautiful. It will grace a wall in our bedroom.
The township of Boykin is actually where the quilting cooperative is located and Gee’s Bend refers to the bend that the Alabama River takes right there and which surrounds Boykin on three sides. Before we left, there was some question whether or not the ferry that runs from Gee’s Bend across the river to Camden is in operation. In fact, it is and was about to head across the river when we went looking for it. I love ferries.
After a wonderful lunch of soul food at Miss Kitty’s in Camden, we rode back home to finish up this hard and blessed and illuminating 2014. Before coming back into the house on a chilly winter’s day, I had to stop and take a picture of the Paper Whites that greeted me earlier when I went out to take yesterday’s compost to the composting bin.
There is much about this year that I wish had worked out differently than it did. Sherod’s, Maria’s and my life have changed profoundly and irrevocably. There are some new empty places in my heart because leaving meant losing, or at least accepting very diminished, relationships with folks I love and still miss. And those small Paper Whites are the sacrament of what is new and exciting and lovely about our new life and the hopes and dreams for 2015. May it be another year of blessing for you and yours…