Each year, on Palm Sunday, we would gather up a handful of palms at Church. We would fashion them into elaborate crosses. My mother taught me how to weave the knots, others would just make a slit in the palm and weave the other end through. But ours were unique, I suppose she learned from her mother, I don’t know, I never asked. We would put these palms on every grave and give them to relatives.
Fresh palms were needed, once they got dried and “crisper,” weaving them into knots became impossible. In the Catholic faith, it is these remaining palms that become the source of ashes for Ash Wednesday the following year, once they are put to fire.
I taught my daughter how to do these……she used to help make them when she was young. I haven’t made those crosses in a long time, once my dad passed, we didn’t have anyone to bring them to anymore. I see pieces of palm left on my parents’ grave each holiday, but the knots are not the same. But I imagine it would be like putting a bicycle in my hands, once learned, the skill is never lost.
Skills from a mother are woven into a child’s life, knotted as tightly as a palm. You may not continue to use them, but they are never forgotten.
I wrote this blog last year; this morning, my daughter brought me a palm cross. She fashioned it into a knotted token of religious reverence and childhood remembrance. Yes, skills are woven through the generations, knotted tightly as an April Palm.
Blessings this Palm Sunday,