Sea grass

Seagrass holds the natural sand dunes that perform as dykes against the powerful ocean for seafront homes. It is illegal to harvest it. Unless you are Gullah, a group of African-Americans who have maintained their culture and language for over 300 years now. They speak Geechee, a creole language that developed out of African loanwords and the English vernacular of the 1700's.

I met her in the open air market that once served as a slave trade hall. She is quiet, and I admire her baskets (most priced over $100) and ask her if I can take photos of her hands at work. She nods with a toothless grin, and we muddle through a conversation in English and Geechee as she asks if I'll send her my photos. Sure, I can do that, I say. She takes one of her brochures and writes a name and street address on it. No e-mail for this relic from days past.

Her hands are weathered, but not calloused. A beautiful golden brown. I admire her scar-free hands and wonder how the little Gullah girls learn the art of braiding sea grass without scratches or scars.

I think back to my embroidery lessons with my Aunt Shera. If I had tried to embroider by myself, I would poked myself a million times with that nasty needle. But she showed me how to hold the sampler just right so I would never get that sudden and disappointing prick.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)

Another basket braider sits back in her booth, only her feet and knees showing as she weaves at an amazing pace. I buy a trivet from the toothless friend I made, and she tells me how the tails of the sea grass left unbraided will release the scent of the ocean when a hot pan is placed on the trivet.

Always teaching. We younger women teaching our brood, older women of faith handing down wisdom and technique, saving us from some of the inevitable mistakes of motherhood. Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. (Proverbs 25:11)

Looking over my photos, I am transported in awe to the market where fifty or so women, girls and boys weave every day. This women was simple, peaceful, setting her hand to her work with vigor. So today, with each dish put away and each batch of laundry safely in drawers, I follow her example, in the little things. Faithful in the little things. That He might give me much in days to come.

My thoughts wander as I go about my day. There is much to forgive, much to take joy in, much to lift in prayer. Help me practice the art of worship at work this day, Jesus. Only in You can I truly make the small things matter.