Caroline

In your tapestry Caroline, I see fresh colors woven across the family warp threads. You have created beautiful designs, Caroline. Across the weft, there are wide bands of deep blue-green flax, and I see an array of bright colors: lemon-yellow, ultramarine blue, and the soft green of spring leaves — these colors dotted through your tapestry like an impressionist painting. You, Caroline, were a lively curious child with light brown hair and blue-green eyes. You loved to walk in the woods, and to paddle a skiff on a bayou among the groves of cypress. When you grew to be a woman, you married and had three children. You planted a garden, and you built a home in the country where you and your family grew herbs, raised chickens, and walked together among the pine trees.

At home, your family enjoyed the taste of fresh herbs or a salad ring of carrots. Also, in your tapestry, Caroline, there are small specks of warm hues — orange, and flecks of gold among the greens and blues — forming a flowing horizontal landscape. One can imagine in this textured weave, a lake, cypress trees, and water-lilies, like the Drysdale mural in your dining room or the Monet in the hall. I can almost smell the scent of the Sweet Olive from your garden. Your children and grandchildren could reflect on your taste among the leather bound books, the works of art, the objects from your travels, and the magnolias arranged in a blue-green bowl on the desk in your living-room.

However, underneath the cool green bands of flax, and the pleasant hues of your tapestry, family warp threads remain: brown velvet strands appeared as you grasped possessions. I see too, red threads of anger — sometimes sharp and strong — and sometimes choked by gray wisps of silent depression. Although most of the colors and textures of your tapestry portray a pleasing view, there are among the patterns, harsh pink strands that spin into spirals — coiling into concentric circles.

As you grew older, colors faded. Nevertheless, across the lower part of your tapestry, dark crimson streaks across the weave — you felt shame when your husband’s career ended in disgrace. Cool gray threads of silence were your way to cope. The landscape scenes remain, but some grew fainter as your eyesight blurred. Despite dark threads of tragedy and paler shades, the bright colors of the world are in your tapestry.

One night a friend whispered in your ear:

“Though the years your strength may plunder, May you not lose your curiosity and your wonder.” Even in old age, Caroline, you never lost your enthusiasm — you were never bored with life.