Before we begin, there are two things you need to know about me. The first is that my wild, sleeve-worn emotions are extremely susceptible to tactile and aesthetic influence – in plainer terms, pretty soft things make me feel all the feelings, usually to a fairly ridiculous degree. The second is that I am usually not the greatest patriot. Grateful, yes, but passionate, eh, not so much.
There’s a gorgeous woman at our church who came here, years and years ago, from Africa, leaving behind family and babies and stories I will never hear. One morning, as I was wrapping Fable, she looked at me with tears in her eyes. “I love this,” she told me, “This is how I carried my babies. I love this. I feel my home.”
This is what babywearing has been to me – a chord of motherhood, something ancient and true that ties me to mothers all over the world. Learning to wrap my daughter has been a grounding force for me, and learning the feel and weave and artistry of the pieces of cloth I use to wrap her has fed the glutton in my soul that craves fiber at her fingertips, the drape of a well-chosen yarn, the calming presence of pattern and beauty and art the bends and snuggles and holds.
Unicornio Heron* arrived today, and I loved it immediately, and this is why:
Right out of the box, there is something deeply familiar about this wrap. Heron is your most loved pair of jeans – the ones you’ve worn nearly threadbare around the pockets, the ones with the perfect balance of stretch and structure and memory, the ones that you can’t replace because they’ve become softer than any others ever will. There’s something in this wrap of that day I spent by the river holding someone’s hand, along with a splash of seawater, a firework, a faded photograph of the 4th of July. I sat and I held Heron and immediately craved summer, maybe baseball, definitely apple pie. Though I hate to call something so lovely an ugly word like “beater,” this is clearly a wrap that wants to go places – long hikes and weekend camping trips and beach days and fairgrounds and neighborhood potlucks. This wrap belongs bunched in the corner of a picnic blanket or swinging as a hammock in a late summer backyard.
One wash in, Heron is that sweatshirt you borrowed from your high school boyfriend – homey and comfortable and soft enough to be the only thing you want to wear. Of course, it’s less like your high school boyfriend’s sweatshirt in that you desperately want to wrap your toddler in it, and when you do she spends the tedious-and-usually-loudly-protested minutes it takes you to take shameless selfies for the internet counting whimsical bunnies and birds and saying “Hi dog!” to all the unicorns. She’s light on your shoulders, and it’s wearing the heat well, and oh but oh that perfect Pavo stretch… thinner and lighter than my other Form wraps, the passes glide smoothly and sit snuggly where they landed, and it tightens and adjusts like a dream.
Ask me about Heron, and I’ll tell you it’s a little bit country. It’s a Bonnie Raitt song and a ride in someone’s truck and a good pair of boots, but also the stories your grandmother told you of her home in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, and the stories my grandmother heard of tapestries and kings and fantastical creatures. And isn’t that the very stuff that makes us beautiful, this juxtaposition of marvelous things? That’s a whole lot of wonderful for one wrap.
Unicornio Heron arrived today, and I loved it immediately, and it made my texture-loving-geeky-artist heart thump around, but even more than that, it reminded me how much I love this country. Heron showed up, the most charming, soft and lovely patriot, and made me feel my home.
Who would have thought?
*Unicornio Heron is a woven wrap from Pavo Textiles’ Form line. For more wovens available from this line, visit www.pavoform.com. If you’re interested in finding this exact wrap, well, email me and I’ll tell you what I know. Also, this review was unprompted and uncompensated. Sometimes I just want to write about things because I love them.