I have two really strong memories about scissors. When I was very young I remember that my mother kept her sewing scraps in the bottom drawer that was built into the wall of our hallway, between the kitchen and the bathroom. The three built-in drawers were always a mystery to me. Where did they go when they closed?!
The contents were a mystery too, filled with a jumble of colorful fabrics of every texture. Mom took in sewing to help ends meet. She fixed zippers, hemmed pants, and let out waistbands for families in the neighborhood. She also made all her clothes and all of my clothes.
I was allowed to play in the scrap drawer whenever I wanted. When I was about three I remember taking her scissors and hacking off a chunk beautiful pink fabric to play with. I hadn’t taken the fabric all the way out of the drawer, I just pulled and some came out. I remember feeling so proud that I opened the heavy drawer as far as I had all by myself (it didn’t slide easily) and negotiated the cutting with Mom’s big shears. Turned out I cut a rather large piece of out of my favorite pink dress! Mom had put in the drawer until she had time to lengthen the hem.
It’s funny that I remember that as a “good” memory. I can imagine how Mom must have felt, but she barely scolded me. She just held up the dress to examine the hole, and pretty much that was that. I remember being way more disappointed than she was; I had really liked the dress. Mom had an extraordinary sense of perspective. If she had made a big deal about it, I may never have gone on to sew my first garment a decade later, making a Superman outfit for one of the cats, complete with cape, hat (plus ear holes) and tail cozy. (But that’s a whole other story!)
The second scissor memory is not a particular eve nt, but rather a sound. It’s the sound made by a heavy pair of scissors cutting fabric on a wooden table. What an amazing sound! I love it for the melodious rumble it makes and for the anticipation it triggers. To me that particular sound is filled with promise, excitement, and challenge for what will come next: SEWING!
Maybe that’s why I thought of it this morning. It’s a great sound with which to begin the New Year. So, put down your rotary cutter for a minute, find the big scissors, and cut something on a wooden table. Enjoy the memories it conjures for you and savor the excitement to come.
Happy New Year, Everyone!