Sadness this morning to wake to the news of Margaret’s passing. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of the bush of Australia was always fixed in place with her needles, thread and materials. When she would enroll in my workshops down under, I looked forward to all that she had to share with us.
A very long time ago she gave me this set of coasters that she dyed with various Eucalyptus leaves and bark. One is permanently attached in my visually biographical book titled, My Decennia Book.
As Margaret unpacked her materials for class, it was the first place I headed. So many of the colors I love about Australia were in her satchel.
Her botanical drawings were excellent. In one of my earlier classes with Margaret she was stitching into a large paper map of the Flinders Ranges. She knew so much about the natural world of her country and every piece I saw of hers work reflected such a deep caring for the land.
This was our last workshop in 2019 at Hall’s Gap, Victoria.
She told me then that she would not be attending more workshops. Said the travel was getting too hard. As a goodbye gift she gave me a bottle of single malt scotch.
How very thoughtful and kind. But that was Margaret.
I shared it with a fellow scotch drinker in the company of a cockatoo. It was lovely.
For those who knew Margaret and enjoyed her company, I believe she will always be there in every crack and crevice of the Flinders Ranges. And a mark of her pen in every botanical drawing. Her presence can be felt as we pass our hands over thread and cloth put together to illustrate our love of her country.
Several years ago I wrote a story about how we can open “The Spirits Bar” when someone we care about is no longer with us. We can have another drink with them through fond memories and a few sips from the glass.
Tonight at five o’clock I am pouring a single malt, setting the glass on one of Margaret’s coasters as I go open the door for her.