Sunday, January 6, 2013
Handmade Pearls: Singing away the Dark, Part 1
Was anyone else out there afraid of the dark as a child? Heck, I still AM afraid of the dark some nights! As a kid, and well into my teens, I was terrified of our basement. It was dark, cold and cavernous. The washer and dryer felt like a long walk (or run when I was really scared!) from the stairs. And right next to the dryer was the eerie crawl space. During most of my visits to the basement, I was certain that someone really scary was hiding out in the crawl space, just waiting to grab me as I switched the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
As soon as I arrived upstairs, panting, I knew my fears were silly. But in that moment, they felt real and very very scary. One way that I would try to distract myself from the dark basement terrors was by singing songs while I did laundry. My songs never fully kept my fears at bay, but they helped. I think this childhood fear of our dark basement is one reason why I read Singing Away the Dark by Caroline Woodward and knew it could not be a library book. I had to own it. And help it escape from the toddler years with limited damage! And heck, while I'm at it, why not turn it into a sewing project!
The story itself is simple and sweet with beautiful illustrations. A young girl has to walk by herself through a dark forest early each morning on her way to catch the school bus. The dark forest is full of shadows and noise.
To help temper her fears, she "sings away the dark" as she walks in the early winter morning. Dawn slowly breaks and color and beauty fill the forest as she continues on her solitary journey.
This book is not just a book for my children, it is a book for me. How easy it is to forget the seasonal nature of our world and our lives. During the lonely and difficult times, it is challenging for me to remember that the light of dawn will inevitably break. Life ebbs and it flows. And often we need to remember to sing. Remember to bring beauty to our lives and be brave. Because sometimes the fear-filled forest walks in our lives can last a long time. And we must be brave and sing away the dark.
I want to help all three of my daughters to be brave. To remind all of us, I created these pillowcases inspired by Singing Away the Dark.
My hope is that they will remind my daughters of this book and its lesson to bravely sing when they are afraid. I like to picture them tracing the words, "Brave Maya" or "Brave Camila" at night when their dark room is scary. Although it's okay if they still need to crawl into our bed for a nighttime snuggle. Because sometimes we need the love and comfort of others to help us sing away our nighttime fears. I know that I still do. Come back tomorrow for a detailed tutorial on how to create a similar pillowcase! And check out this beautiful book (I am receiving no compensation for my hearty endorsement!). It is lovely.