Saturday, July 2, 2011

For my friend, Nathan.....

Many many years ago, when I first got on the internet, I met Darryl, a nurse from Australia via a bulletin board on alternative health practices. He was doing his thesis on the same topic that I had used for mine. And a long distance, long term friendship developed thru the wonders of the internet.

In 1998, on his way to London, Darryl came thru the US and we got to meet face to face for the first time! On his visit to AZ, we played tourist and one of our stops was Sedona, nestled in the beautiful red rock country, and one of our stops there was the Chapel of the Holy Cross. There in front of a statue of St. Francis, Darryl began to hear the call to religious life, even though neither of us realized it at the time.

Throughout his time working in England and the Middle East, the call became stronger and when he returned to Oz, he began to pursue his calling. In 2002, he joined the Society of St. Francis and became Br. Nathan James. Now he is completing seminary and will be ordained as a deacon in December, 2011.

One of the magical things about our friendship has been thru quilts. At several crossroads in his journey, I've had a psychic hit about a quilt for him.... and several quilts have crossed the ocean to his hands, and often answered questions that he was holding. As he nears ordination, I truly wanted to make him a very special gift and in correspondence with a mutual friend, decided to make his ordination stole as a surprise.

Lo and behold, he soon emailed me and asked if I would make his stole! He had no idea that I was already thinking about it. Our minds were as one as we discussed the designs. One of my sorority sisters from college had been making stoles, and she graciously sent me her pattern. It all came together.

This past week, Nathan again journeyed to AZ on his way to London and again at the Chapel in Sedona, I was able to gift him with not one, but two stoles that I created to mark this part of his journey.

The first (he didn't know he was getting two!) is called Sunrise, Sunset after the song Cradle of Dawn by Libby Roderick. The song speaks to global connection and is very special for both of us. It's a rainbow of colors of the earth and more specifically those of sunrise and sunset. (click on any image to enlarge)  

And the second, is the red stole of ordination. I dyed 13 different reds (more like 22, but only used 13), then created a brickwork pattern. On the ends, I've embroidered the outline of the chapel and most importantly, the image of the statue of St. Francis where the journey began.
I've never made liturgical garments before, but I'm really pleased with the way they came out... and of course, Nathan is as well. Who knows, I just might have to go to Oz to see him ordained in December!

No comments: