The panes were twice my height and held the morning mood in swollen waves of light against my eyes as I watched to see the postman walking away. I remember swinging the round brass doorknob behind me before spiralling down each floor until my feet hit the ground and bounced into the endless height of the sitting room. My Mother met me purposefully, emerging from the double doors in one solid strike and handed me an envelope.
My breath, once hesitant, started to calm as I traced the marks right across, the characters all so familiar. Kathmandu stamped at the borders, I felt them touching memory as my body softened to meet each shape. B was always a writer and had seldom missed a week in seventeen years. Her letters were longer and less frequent from Nepal but as I handled the envelope, I knew that something of significance lay inside.
Taking care to open the corner, I sat in the wide window that met the floor of the balcony. My back rested entirely within the alcove and the early light proved rich and inviting to accompany the read. Each thumb and index finger rolled the stitches, one at a time, until I had the imprint installed before I opened my eyes to discover that they were in fact blue.
Her words held my skin as though she were really there, all folded in three parts, the paper so fine it melted sheet after sheet, and within the card shone the sweetest and clearest lines; the keeping sort. Something so pure reached out from them, it held me lost forever in a single moment of realisation.
I have carried this card beside me since 1997 and today I find it each morning in my dressing table. None of the purity or clarity of mind that first shone out that day has ever faded. My first, hand-stitched meditation delivered from over four and half thousand miles away, in blue stitches and my sister’s consistent hand.