when i was in my 20's .. i had a few very specific inspirations; one that remained consistent and passionate was my love for Jane Austen. i feel that i "discovered" her rather late in life..i was AT LEAST 25 when i first read "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility"..AT LEAST 29 (gasp!!) when i first saw the BBC "collin firth" version of the movie. my friend emily had the vhs set and while visiting her i became hooked and watched a MARATHON of firthy-goodness. --"you must allow me to tell you how ardently i admire and love you." oh.my.goodness. so i went on in my late 20's to immerse myself in all things jane. books..quotes..regency hats..hankerchiefs..all of it. i loved her relationship with her sister. i love that she wrote about passion and everyday life and was witty and clever..and i loved her.
imagine my sheer delight, when heading home from a trip from India..i made a stop in England and visited her home in Chawton..i walked in her gardens..i saw her desk...her dresses & her bedroom. i visited where she was buried in Winchester.
in visiting my creative hero's home and final resting place..i felt very connected. like i was in on a bit of a secret. that i too, could create and inspire others. i always thought i would write..life hasnt taken that turn, i haven't really allowed that to be my creative outlet yet.but i see glimpses of her in other aspects of life..my daughter's middle name, my decorating, my homeschooling..and lately my sewing projects.
i color copied the pages onto fabric sheets from Joann's and started sewing. this is what i came up with so far:
it is far from finished. i still have to sew her name on it, put on borders and machine quilt it. i am not a technical sewer/quilter. most things are do are quirky and slightly askew. so i don't put this out there as some amazing project that people can learn from...but i do love how all of this has come back around..in starting this sewing project, i poured over the scrapbook that i had made of the trip (years later) and i revisited the feelings that went along with it. specifically, i remember being dropped off by the little country bus that brought me to her road.he stopped at a crossroads, and pointed me in the direction i should go.."you better hurry, it closes in an hour." i ran. i ran down the lane until i saw it, the brick house with a carriage and a lavender garden. i ran in fear of missing it, being locked out. i ran in hopes of seeing something private and undiscovered. i ran and i was happy.
with this project and the memories it brings, years later, my love of all things jane is still strong to be sure...but i think now, these days..what is it that i take such joy..such delight..have such expectancy that i would RUN to it? all sorts of things and ideas excite me these days..but the answer is a no brainer for me. HOME. only the idea of home and husband..my children, my family..these are the things that i take such delight and joy in. these are the ones i would RUN to.
so thank you jane, for the reminder..that truly "THERE IS NOTHING LIKE STAYING HOME FOR REAL COMFORT."