My paternal grandmother was a weaver. Her loom was a large, intricate contraption that filled half the room. As a youngster in wonder I watched her hands throw the shuttle back and forth and her feet press pedals that squeaked mysterious parts into place.

Nearby was another enigma to this child, a wooden wheel she used to spin wool into threads that her loom transformed into cloth. Most treasured was the clan tartan she wove for ties for her grandsons and skirts for her granddaughters.

As did many crafts born of the necessity to provide one’s own food, shelter and clothing, weaving yielded to impatience with the pace of production and the progress of technology. Still, the power of its metaphor remains a guide for the spirit.

In this prayer from sisters Pat Kozak and Janet Schaffran we are both weavers and woven.

Weave for us the tapestry on which our lives are stretched. Give us patience with the endless back and forth of shuttle, hand and effort. We look too closely, seeing only strands and knots and snarled threads of too-much-trying or none-at-all.

Grant us to see the whole of which we are a part.

In the end, we ask for gentleness with ourselves, acceptance of our less than perfect ways. We pray that what we do and what you weave form patterns clear to all, of mercy in the warp of it and love throughout.

My grandmother’s loom remains in the same house that is now her town’s historical society. Her spinning wheel graces the landing on the stairs of our home in NH. As I pass it daily I am reminded that the task of each of us is to create and stretch the fabric of our life in our generation.