Friday, September 5, 2014

"Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep": A Discussion

An antique store find
Above you see a portion of an embroidered Sampler which says "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep / I Pray the Lord My Soul to Keep / Guide Me Safely Through the Night / Wake Me With the Morning Light."

I remember a similar prayer that had me terrified as a young child. The first prayer I ever learned was, "Now I lay me down to sleep / I pray the Lord my soul to keep / And if I die before I wake / I pray the Lord my soul to take." After carefully reciting this poem, I would lay awake for hours wondering if I was going to die and if so, if my soul would be taken and to where (also wondering what a "soul" is).

Curiously, a Sampler with the "other" similar poem was also for sale at the antiques shop. I could not bring myself to purchase it. This Sampler, on the other hand, is unfinished. It was sold by NeedleMania Inc. and is Article # 8122. I wish I knew more about all of these companies that produced Samplers to stitch at home. Someone should write a guide book. No, not me. I believe it would be difficult to track down information.

I hope to finish the Sampler you see here in some manner. I like the idea of peacefully waking to the morning's light, an experience that does not happen for many in the world who are without freedom and without sunshine in any level of their lives. I feel so happy and so thankful for the special people in my life who are my sunshine.

My Dad and Mother in 1931 when they were dating

So saying, I recall my Dad always singing to my Mom : "You are my sunshine / my only sunshine / you make me happy when skies are gray / you'll never know dear / how much I love you / please don't take my sunshine away.

Wishing you sunshine all the days of your life. :-)

Patricia Cummings

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