Monday, May 9, 2011

Why a Tapestry?

Take two threads, woven vertically, and cross them skillfully with two threads woven horizontally, and you have the rudiments of a tapestry.

Take two people, joined together as husband and wife, whose child someday meets and marries another now-grown child of two other people, and you have the interweavings of a family tapestry.

Each paired line weaves its way through society, through the culture, through the ages. Each snippet paints a picture, tells a story. In the aggregate, each stitch is only one small part of the overall scene. Each family’s moment in history seems a mere stitch in time. But each pairing produces an effect on the next generation, and each pairing brings with it the heritage of the choices made previously. Each of us has a heritage made up of couplings of unique individuals. We have the opportunity to speak our piece through the warp and woof of our generations.

It is fascinating to consider how people—most of them common people such as I am, and such as the majority of the world is—in the aggregate make a difference based on who they are as individuals in families, to consider how they are interwoven with others to influence the world’s immediate destiny.

I am beholden to the choices made before me. I don’t want to discard them—or worse, ignore them. There is something calling me to “turn the hearts of the children to the fathers.” There is a cry to honor those who made choices to bring me to where I am. There is a benefit to remembering.

Learning one’s heritage is starting with those two strands, moving back in time to see where they intersected with two other threads, then four, then eight, then....

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