Sometime in the 1850s a fisherman built this house we live in, on McNutt's Island off the southwestern coast of
When we tore out the plaster, we found a wooden shuttle hidden inside the wall directly above the front door. It has the initials M.P. carved on it, so it must have belonged to Martha Perry, whose husband Jonathan and son William built the house. Since the shuttle was inside the wall, it would have been forgotten after a while. And then after that nobody even knew it was there, until we found it.
But long ago, in an ordinary act of daily life, a weaver sat at her loom and sent this very shuttle back and forth, weaving the horizontal weft threads through the vertical warp. And so the hidden shuttle could have been Martha Perry’s way of bestowing a secret blessing on all who would pass through the front door. Maybe she hoped, as she tucked the shuttle inside the lath, that the lives threading in and out of this house over the decades would be somehow woven together.
And it does seem that our lives have begun to weave into the lives of those who lived here before us: the long-ago toddler who died of scarlet fever in this house, and the young bride and her fisherman groom who were married near the door, and the boy who planted an oak tree for his mother in the front yard, and the woman who found a hard-fought peace here, whose ashes are spread in the apple grove.
After we painted the living room we returned the shuttle to its place above the door. But now it hangs on the wall, a visible reminder that everything is connected, woven together: blessed, whether we know it or not.