The gift box was opened with happy anticipation. It was announced by the relative that this anniversary present was handmade with much love. Pulling back colored tissue revealed material printed with autumn patterns and vibrant colors. Hastily the donor assisted the recipient in unfolding a sizable piece of fabric. A quilt emerged with patchwork squares of leaves, acorns and flowers enclosed in a bright border. The fabric artist invited the recipient to turn it around for viewing the reverse side. There the quilt squares formed a cross of simple hue and plain background. It seemed a stark contrast to the flurry of design on the front. Yet, it drew attention in its own beauty. In some ways, it also became a story of unfolding years. Fifty years held multiple remembrances of joy and personal satisfaction. Still, they also contained sacrifice, pain, losses, and disappointment. The quilt embraced it all! With grace, we do too.
By Ruth Feeney, OSB