Mid-life

Mid-life

At the Bay Area Basket Maker’s retreat in August 1991, one of the members shared some daylily leaves and showed me how to make a basket by soaking them to make them pliable. I liked the feel of working with them.

A few months later while cleaning the garden, I put a handful of leaves in water to soak. That evening I started a basket by weaving a grid with 24 leaves to make spokes. Then I switched to twining, with two leaves twisting inside to outside between each spoke. As I worked my way around, the center woven section raised up as it dried. For some reason I don’t understand, the basket was not round but became an oval shape, somewhat narrow and softly pointed on one side.

Mid-Life

I twined around until the spokes on the narrow side became too short to continue. I worked each short daylily spoke into the next twist making a rim. When I got to where the leaves were still long, I stopped and looked at my work. I liked the way it looked, so I ended the rim, with the long leaves as they were.

Looking at the finished basket, I saw a metaphor for my life at that time. Part of it was completed, but half the spokes still had usable length. At the age of forty-nine I had just completed my master’s degree, my sons were young men making their own decisions, and I was considering leaving my marriage.

It looked like there was life ahead of me to explore and live.  Maybe I was half-way through.

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