Ocean Observations :: Day Four

I’d like to be a sea oat stalk. It grows tall and proud by the Ocean’s Edge despite dry, sandy soil. They lean and bend with the whim of the weather. In certain lights their wheat-like hair glows. They appear to thrive on very little attention, content to face the ocean or the sun, bowed slightly as in prayer or worship. Their root system must be intricate and strong to stand firm in shifting sands and ruthless ocean storms.

It would be a simple life, but for the storms. And though they appear very singular in their comportment, they are always surrounded by friends and family, swaying together in a beautifully choreographed dance. This morning in particular they seem delighted with the abnormally cool temperature and easy breeze as they bob and nod, swaying side to side.

I’ve been watching them for half an hour now, mesmerized by their tai-chi-like moves…a perfect meditation for mid-week at Ocean’s Edge. I’ve also begun to stitch them into the Ocean Fragment. I am not quite capturing their delicate yet strong essence. There seems to be a bit of magic holding that tall skinny stalk straight while bearing the weight of the fringe at the top. I will likely stitch more sea oats in other fragments when I return home.

The crazy thing about these slender flagpoles is that they are crucial to the stability of the dunes. I like that. Could it be that we, living our ordinary lives, facing the Sun, rooted to one place and bending with grace to the winds of change; could it be that we, you and I, are essential to the stability of the environment in which we live?

Perhaps I make too much of this. But it is good to be reminded that I matter in the grand scheme of the cosmos. Facing the vastness of ocean and sky, getting lost in the churning breakers, one can feel quite small and insignificant. If our Maker deems it necessary that sea oats help maintain stability and hold back erosion, does it not follow that we too are important to the stability of our families, our friends and communities in which we live? You and I are stitched into the dunes of our lives for a reason. How wonderful to find sea oats an unlikely testament to this truth!


Stitching My Sketchbook

At the top of our neighborhood is an intersection of two roads. One is named Silver Dapple Lane. It is one of my most favorite places on earth. Down this road lies a beautiful farm with cows grazing on fields of clover. In another direction from this intersection is a field of wheat leading to another farm and a tranquil neighborhood. Yet another direction leads me home. On my daily walks I go through this intersection and I think how very much this is my life as an artist. I am forever walking down new paths of creativity as well as the older, well-trodden ones. I’m endlessly curious and fascinated by color, texture and line. Finding a way to blend my loves of drawing, painting, stitching and textiles is fascinating and enchanting.

Who knows where this new path will take me? I have no idea. Nor do I know how long the path goes on for, or how long I will choose to stay on it. For now, I’m stitching up fragments of textile art…pieces of collaged fabric held together by both machine and hand-stitching. The hand embroidered lines are taken directly from the drawings in my sketchbook. Florals, landscapes, still-life and more from over 10 years of sketchbooks filled with drawings of my daily life.

I appreciate your presence here. And your patience. If you follow my work on any of the many blogs or podcasts I offer out there, you are justified in a good chuckle as I embark on another tangent. It’s really all the same thing, just different mediums. I’m holding to that! And stitching my way through life.

-Jennifer Edwards