On the Road to friends and high places: Part Two Connecting Threads

So fellow travelers, our fiber farm adventure has reached a literal and creative high point at St. Mary’s on-the-hill.


View from St Mary’s on-the-hill :  Christ the King Retreat center, a haven of peaceful, comfortable accommodations where many of us have stayed during various Bedlam Farm Open House Weekends adventure.

Beth has family ties to this center, so we received a warm welcome and a generous opportunity to take photographs of the antique embroidery exhibit.


 I should have taken better (or more accurately any notes) notes on the specifics of these pieces.  I do remember these pieces date back to the 19th century and were created by young women attending one of the sister’s schools in New York City. Although I was not raised in the Catholic church, I grew up in a very Catholic neighborhood in New York and felt some connection to these amazing works of art knowing they had graced various churches in the city of my childhood.

The exhibit showed in careful detail the process from concept, to sketches, precise color patterns, then final crafting and included many samples of the practice pieces students were required to complete before working on a designed piece.


From a distance, some of the stitching looked like it had been hand dyed, the graduation of color was so subtle.  Close-up views revealed the effect was created by many tiny stitches.


Such patience and attention to detail amazed us, each piece a magnificent example of discipline and focus.



I found myself wondering what thoughts and feelings filled these young women’s minds as they stitched in meditative silence. It was truly a gift to spend time with these sacred creations.

As we headed back outside and saw a sign for goats we knew this peak experience was not quite over. We walked around to the goat pens by a small barn and were delighted by two weeks old kids romping on hay bales undr the watchful eye of their mothers and one very handsome Dad.



Momentarily distracted by some distant bird calls, I walked along the fenceline away from the quiet crowd and captured this handsome fellow at work.


Listening intently for a few moments, I was able to pick out the distinct call of a yellow warbler in the trees lining the hills.  Thinking of the somewhat early timing for this migrant turned my attention the need for us to head over towards Cambridge soon. I looked up and saw Beth walking towards me. Great minds ( and empty stomachs) think alike. We agreed it was time to make the short drive over the hills to hit the Round House for Lunch.


To be continued…….

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready



Deborah H Rahalski

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