One of Leyla Jo’s most cherished belongings is the small, artisan basket hand-crafted from North Carolina longleaf pine needles. The beautful basket features a small pine cone handle at the top and open weaving at the bottom. The basket was the only piece of her heritage, one lovingly passed to her by Aunt Beatrice.
“Will anyone come for me?” Leyla Jo asks.
Aunt Beatrice takes a small round basket made of coiled dried pine needles and places it into her small hands. Leyla Jo knows she is being given a treasure, even then, and recognizes it’s a connection, a link to another time. Aunt Beatrice hastily wipes away tears, the only tears she remembers the dear old woman shedding, then pulls her protectively into her arms. The summer sun edges down behind the pine-covered foothills of Robeson County. That night, Leyla Jo’s small makeshift bed tucked next to Aunt Beatrice’s room, becomes comfortably permanent. She loves the safety its warm pinecone patchwork quilt provides.
Whatever Leyla Jo placed into the basket was special. “She went to the book shelf, removed the small coiled pine needle basket and sat on her practitioner’s bench with it. Her spirit leapt as she opened the basket. Three pottery pieces rested inside. She reverently lifted each one and her heart beat faster as she relived the spell.”
Barb Dedrickson of Somethin Country in Clay Center, Nebraska, talked to me about baskets like the one Leyla Jo loves. If you enjoy collecting beautiful handcrafted objects, contact Barb at Barbandgary@datacc.net.