I got out the needle and thread today to sew a button back on my relatively new khaki shorts. Ever since I took the shorts home from the store in Seaside, OR, I worried about their badly sewn commercial button, which seemed ready to fall off at any moment, and yes it eventually did fall off at an unfortunate time, when I was playing basketball with co-workers on a break from test scoring.
But it was nice, sewing a button back onto my shorts with the fan blowing on a summer afternoon. My mother, who's be gone for almost a decade now (which I do find easy to believe, because it actually feels like ten decades) was a seamstress, among her other talents. Almost every day of my childhood and teen years I watched her sew something, either on a sewing machine or by hand. And just the act of sewing, the little swooping gestures as the needle goes in and out, in and out, reminds me of her thin agile hands, her gentleness, her patience. I can see her sitting on our old green couch, watching the needle and thread as she worked while really focusing on whoever was sitting with her, who ever had sat down for a moment to chat.