When Women Create

September 19, 2011

While celebrating our anniversary, my husband and I recently wandered into a small gift shop.  Amused, we picked up a book about brides and their beloved wedding plans.  Apparently, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman will exhaust more time, sweat and tears on her wedding plans than will her male counterpart.  The book attributes this phenomenon to some sort of feminine “rite of passage.”  I can understand this line of thought.

The year of 2010 witnessed a host of mischievous bands intruding upon my parents’ household: a small army of votive candles, a happy troupe of silk flowers, a whirlwind array of bright papers and ribbons, and a luscious company of fine apparel and accessories.  Why mischievous, you ask?  Quite frankly, these dear objects will never organize, tidy, and arrange themselves.  Such is woman’s work.

Thus, I watched (sometimes helped) the magic that unfolds when women create.  In Carey’s hands, flyaway beads and threads on our antique dress became neat and pristine.  Sandy’s cathedral veil vision transformed a pile of tulle and lace, while Emily handcrafted a unique set of jewelry.  Anne, meanwhile, stitched seven modest and flattering gowns with only pictures as guides.  Says Anne, “Who needs patterns?”

Most exciting were the days (and they were many) when my own Marmee rolled up her sleeves.  Each centerpiece was wonderfully unique.  No two pale pink and forest green invitations were exactly alike.  Yet all spoke of beauty, tenderness, and care… just like the home that had sheltered me always… just like the marriage I hoped to create.

Times of transition are never easy; an engagement is no exception.  Yet, I will always cherish the wedding planning season, when I observed young mothers, widows, and middle-aged mothers with daughters, all plying their creative and painstaking trades.  I noted their gracious ways of helping others.  I felt their joy in a job well done.   And I hoped to emerge from my “rite of passage” with not only a new name, but a woman’s heart to match.