Nature’s Living Tapestry
Apr 30, 2017 03:21PM
by Juliette Jones
May is the merry month when Mother Nature celebrates her immense creative ability, restructuring from the latency of winter into the bloom of new life as evidenced through the flowers of the field and chirping of baby birds.
Before our very eyes, life is weaving a remarkable tapestry out of its own power. Like a dream, it just happens. The forces behind creation are always expressing into the world of form, following patterns of design and evolution. Yet so much of what is happening lies beyond the world of our senses.
In the old world, weaving was deemed a metaphor for the creative expression of the cosmos, and this was especially true throughout goddess and matriarchal cultures where this feminine activity was central to the home and hearth. In ancient Greece, the process of weaving figured into creation mythology.
Aspects of destiny were woven into the pattern of every human life by three sister goddesses named “The Three Fates.” Clotho (meaning spinner) spun the threads of life; Lachesis (unbending) measured the length of a life by determining the length of the thread; Atropos (inevitable) cut the thread of life, thus determining its endpoint.
If we were to examine the fabric of life and culture, as we would a woven tapestry, we would first see that it manifests through a series of dualistic or opposing phenomena. A woven tapestry has two sides which often differ in appearance. We might look at this as a metaphor for the seamless relationship between what we see as external versus internal reality, as in the relationship between form and consciousness.
As the overall weave of a fabric is composed of many threads in relationship to one-another, so the fabric of life experience arises from many threads of energy and activity. Our small band of the senses doesn’t permit us to see all these threads. We live in a state of ordinary conscious awareness, focused mainly on the external fabric of things. Threads are left out of what we are able to perceive. For example, we don’t see electromagnetic radiation, molecules or gravity, but these components are indigenous to the weave of life.
The truth is that everything and everyone emerges from an infinite web, or weave of relationships. All elements and events are united in this; everything is related. Objects that seem different are actually individual aspects of the same thing.
It’s easy to understand that weaving emphasizes the concept of interdependence and integration of opposing threads. The opposing directions of warp and weft are needed to create this fabric. Each separate, fragile thread is minimized unless bound into the tapestry of the whole. It’s also interesting to reflect that an integration of opposing elements and forces is part of the quest of every spiritual seeker.
Our Selvages Are the Forward Moving Edge of Our Lives.
The interdependence of everything in the world is not yet understood as a paramount principle in the practical theories of modern psychology, politics or treatment of the environment in general. Yet we can be inspired through the experience of weaving our own lives and staying in service to what is really life-giving.
“The weft (of a fabric) is built thread by thread, weaving in and out
between the warp threads, touching each one as it passes by;
in the same way our daily actions weave through our values,
touching each one on the way. Weave your threads in,
remembering your values as you touch them and lift them
to guide the weft threads through. This is how you integrate your life;
you touch your values one by one as you guide your actions
back and forth to build the fabric of your life.”
Of course, there are places where we appear to make mistakes in the process––a skipped thread, a place pulled too tight, a hole left in the fabric. Perhaps these are the places where we can look upon the weave in another way, from a new perspective.
I was told a wonderful story about an old mother who spent her last days weaving snow white blankets for each of her seven adult children. As her time to pass drew near, her vision dimmed, and she accidentally wove a bright red thread into the last blanket. Guess which blanket everyone wanted? Sometimes imperfection has a value not immediately apparent, and sometimes a mistake can unmask a deeper truth within the weave.
The final gifts of this old mother would continue to touch her children’s lives long after she had departed from their sight. How many times, as a young mother, had she covered them with the blanket of her love in their infancy and childhood? Such handmade woven blankets would surely evoke a certain comfort of continuity in the face of such profound transition––kind of like an adult “assurance blanket” to connect them to deep feelings of love, gratitude and fond memories.
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life.”
The Divine Mother’s Love Both Embraces and Transcends.
As the season confers an opportunity to honor mothers, grandmothers and other important life giving influences, we might want to remember that we are also celebrating billions of years of evolution and transformation.
How intimately the threads of our lives are entwined with the lives of mothers! Whether seen as tender and comforting, fearless warriors or terrifying and ferocious––as all of these possibilities exist within the universal mother archetype––all mothers everywhere are an aspect of the Divine Mother principle, each bestowing the fundamental threads of physical life and the opportunity for the formlessness of spirit to emerge as physical presence.