Upon finishing my book for the night, I placed the new bookmark my sister had given me at Christmas between the pages to mark my place.
Before I closed the book, I examined the bookmark, taking some time to really look at it. Is it leather? Or is it some kind of stiff fabric covered in a thick coat of paint to give it substance? It had been hand-painted – a ruby-throated hummingbird hovering in front of a pink and fuchsia blossom. A thin black ribbon was looped through a punched hole at the top of the bookmark.
Someone created this, took the time to carefully choose fabric and ribbon, colours of paint and suitable brushes to make this bookmark. I looked on the back. Hand-printed in a golden brown paint was the name “Carolyn Smoke ’15.”
Thank you, Carolyn. Thank you for making this for me. You didn’t know it was going to be mine, but thank you for meticulously taking the time to create this hand-made craft that I now get to use and enjoy.
It reminded me that we just need to make our creations and then send them out into the world. We don’t know where they will end up. It’s not for us to worry about that. We enjoyed the process of conceiving it and then we let it go to be itself and allow others to enjoy the finished product.
Creation is like planting seeds. We may plant apple seeds and never get to see the grown tree in full bloom or dripping with apples. We can imagine, if we wish, future generations sitting under shady boughs munching on crisp red apples. If that’s why we planted the seed, then our act of creation becomes an act of generosity, for others will reap the benefits of our labour. Or we can plant seeds simply because we enjoy black soil under our fingernails, blue skies above us, and a warm sun heating our backs. And within a few weeks, we can watch the magic of a fresh green shoot breaking through the earth and growing before our eyes. And that can be enough.