Like lace through your fingers

Recently, I discovered one more gem of a BBC drama series I can’t get enough of watching — Lark Rise to Candleford.  Based on British author Flora Thompson’s autobiographical writings, the story opens on the small Oxfordshire village of Lark Rise and the wealthier market town of nearby Candleford, chronicling the lives of neighbors –craftsmen, farmers, and gentry – at times boisterous and quirky, at times warm and loving.

Add to that the breathtaking cinematic photography, scenery that is like a living painting aglow,  the lilting music — well, it steals like fingers of sunlight across the heart’s window. I’ve found myself humming the opening music, the way it trails off like a rippling note on an oboe, and even singing words of praise to it — wishing it would go on and on.

So it was with one episode I watched the other night (Season 4, episode 2).  In one swoop, it surpassed all that went before it, and like a ribbon to a favorite novel, I bookmarked it to my heart:  A gentle story of Lark Riser Queenie (beautifully played by Linda Bassett) making the sorrowful discovery that the world has suddenly discarded her exquisite handmade lace for machine-processed.

So much more than just a financial source for the poor cottage woman, her lace is treasure she wraps tenderly in blue tissue.  “I was brought up to the pillow and taught to fling these here bobbins with the best of them,” she explains, “and every bead has its own story…”

Her words, the mood of the music and the lighting and softness in her voice in this scene, resonated over and over in me.  For what she terms a certain enchantment, I’ve felt too…

In the BBC drama, Lark Rise to Candleford, Queenie (played beautifully by Linda Bassett) makes bobbin lace. Queenie says in the Season Four show, "I was brought up to the pillow and taught to fling these here bobbins with the best of them. Every bead has it's own story."


Bobbin lace such as the kind Queenie (played by Linda Bassett) makes on Lark Rise to Candleford, BBC drama.

“I do believe this is the most… delicate… grand… lace ever to come off my bobbin,” Queenie confides softly –      tender, humble wonder in her words.  “There’s times when I look at them little webs and weaves and — well, I don’t know where it comes from.  It’s like… I… didn’t make it…”   Then, softer still, letting the lace spill out over her fingers like fragile strands of golden thread, she shares the glory she recognizes in this creating, but finds hard to describe. “There’s an enchantment about it that’s beyond me…”

Distracted by her own unhappiness, not really hearing the heart Queenie is opening to her, Ruby, the seamstress, talks over her words, fails to see how her own crush.  “Oh, we shan’t be needing your lace anymore,” she tosses lightly over her shoulder, not seeing the welling sorrow in Queenie’s eyes.  “My sister was persuaded by a commercial gentleman that bobbin lace is antiquated…”

Queenie (played by Linda Bassett) and Ruby Pratt (played by Victoria Hamilton) in Season 4, Lark Rise to Candleford, BBC. In this touching scene, Queenie teaches Ruby how to make bobbin lace. So sweet!      It isn’t until later that Ruby, come to Queenie to help her with a sadness within her own life, uncovers a release as Queenie takes her hands gently in her own… teaches Ruby how to move the bobbins… to let forgiveness flow through the threads and find healing in the making of such delicate beauty…

Then later still, when Queenie’s husband puts aside his own cares to lovingly join her in folding the lace treasure carefully away…

I watch this story unfold, tears spilling from the corners of my eyes.

For, although…

I’ve never threaded delicate lace into elegant pattern

or held a child of my own next to my heart

or composed a song to carry the spirit high

or sung with a voice that brings glory to a listener

or run my fingers over a piano to the thrill of another

or done a hundred thousand other things that reveal His Glory in and through us —

I have felt that same wonder each time I finish a drawing or each time I find just the right words to express a thought… stand back and think as Queenie did…  Lord, this could only be YOU… surely I did not do this…  It is like an enchantment…

Making me recall something I wrote about this Lent in Candlelight…and Hope of Glory, quoting singer songwriter Marty Goetz on his Psalm Enchanted Evening:

“Now some of you may be a bit afraid of that word – enchanting. but it doesn’t mean ‘magic’ or anything like that,” Mr. Goetz says.  “I looked it up in the dictionary.  It comes from a word ‘incantare’ –  to sing.  It actually means, to sing!  I bet you didn’t know that.  And ‘enchantment’ means ‘to woo to a place of emotional…actually love…  a place of affection,’ through this singing.  So basically, what this evening is, is the plucking and plunking of stringed instruments to woo through the singing this evening… ”

Mmm… and basically what this is... this wonder of using the gifts God puts within us, this being a part of creating life in so many varied and brightly beribboned ways – and recognizing Glory like Queenie reveling in the making of her lace, unable to stop making it even if no one else should ever appreciate her work again — this is the singing and the wooing of our God in and over and through our hearts.  

Lark Rise

Lark Rise

What is it that makes you hear and just know… He is singing over you?  🙂  The thing that makes you stop and breathe… surely, I did not do this alone...?


© Pam Depoyan


Sharing with:     Essential Thing devotions     Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday     Beauty in His Grip Button   Inspire Me Monday        Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox

   raysofgraceandjoy.blogspot.comLink  up

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
This entry was posted in Wonder Moments and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Like lace through your fingers

  1. Pam! What fun to be here again. I’m not sure how I forgotten to slip in here. While I’m not familiar with that show, I nonetheless recognize the joy that working hard at one’s art brings. Words are what I wrestle with and savor too, like you.

    Re your comment on my post “What Is It For You?,” thank you. Nice to have you here. I’m glad you liked the music traipsing image too. That made me smile also.

    You are a word lover too, huh?
    Jennifer Dougan

    • Thanks, Jennifer. Good to see you back here too… Yes, I came across that show on a channel called INSP that is showing reruns. (It was made around 2006, I think.) Watched one episode online too, but then it seemed to lock viewing out from online. Maybe you could find it on DVD at your library. I prefer watching on DVD because commercials really disrupt the beauty and charm of it.

      Yep… I am definitely a word-lover! 🙂

  2. lynndmorrissey says:

    Well, that does it! Pam, once again, you have inspired me (not to make lace :-), but to watch this series. I’m unsure why (likely b/c I didn’t know about it at first and then came too late to it), but I never really got involved w/ this series. But i”d like to, and thank goodness, for DVDs. As for lace…..what a beautiful, lost art form, and whil e I’d love to learn, this kind of gift is not my talent. My grandmother uses to tat (another lost art form), but all these skills are going by the wayside I fear. I do love how you love things of beauty and wanting to preserve our past artistry, while also indicating that we each have different skills and talents. I love how you use yours to His glory! Thank you for your blog, your art, and mostly your heart.

    • I think you would enjoy a lot of this series, Lynn because you love all things England too… sometimes a few of the characters (particularly in the first season) sort of grated on my nerves, but overall, I have loved most of it. I LOVE the music and the scenery, and the acting is good. The only down part of it to me is there is a bit of superstition now and then, and the way they portray the man of faith (he’s kind of a bumbler and legalistic, though well meaning). But there is a lot of beauty in the overall series. You’ll recognize Brendan Coyle (I think that’s his name) from Downton in this too.

      I think of how hard it must have been for true craftsmen when so much went to the machine, and lost a certain beauty and quality in so doing. Today, I feel sort of that way in the way writing and publishing have changed so much, and now technology over even books that you can hold…

      When country decor was popular again a few years ago, there was a lot of resurgence in tatting and the like, so I imagine it will return again full cycle one of these days. I have a pillow I bought that has some pretty tatting on it. I could never do work like that, but appreciate it! Yes, I love the way God is in all our talents, along with so many areas of our lives that are really creating (though we may not think of them that way, because we always associate it mostly with the arts…). Thank you for your heart too!

  3. Barbie says:

    Thank you for sharing. I love all things BBC!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s