A number of years ago I happened upon a pair of finely made miniature—about 2” tall—leather boots that came from Mexico. Loving them but having no idea how they fit into my life, I tucked the boots away in a box titled Someday.
Recently, beginning to prepare to make an art installation of a forest for the Monterey Public Library that will be displayed in their foyer vitrine beginning in April, I purchased a cloth doll form. The other day she called to me from the Someday box where she’d been resting in her silent way, so I retrieved her and the boots, made her a capelet and a blue flannel skirt—it’s winter, after all. I slipped the fine leather boots over her bare feet. Slowly she was becoming herself. A little filigree was needed for the capelet, and I stitched a heart milagro over her actual heart, much as my childhood Raggedy Anne doll had a red heart painted on her cloth skin. Only with my new doll the heart is, not surprisingly, worn on the outside of her clothing. Next came her long chestnut yarn hair. More of her self began appearing, but my doll’s face remained blank until I took a needle and black thread and asked for her eyes, then a red thread and asked for her lips. Forest Girl was born!
Here’s why I’m writing about her today: because of the magic. Once she had her boots and her clothes and her long hair and her face, she became someone. No longer could she be put in a box marked Someday. She had, just like my early childhood Christmases, been imbued with magic—the magic of transformation and possibility. Her hands are open, facing up. So might this heart be, the rib encased one of mine, reminded once again of how everything changes, often beautifully, especially when the magic of the season is invoked.
I wish you the magic of transformation, whatever your faith, joy in the returning light, and the generous, fruitful spirit of imagination in the coming year, and always.