The red silk skirt


The deep red silk skirt glows in the afternoon sun, as I gently remove it from the white cotton cloth it is wrapped in. I lay it out gently on the easy chair in the living room and move the chair over to the balcony. The silk skirt needs some fresh air and sunlight before it is wrapped-up in the soft white cloth again.

And as I move around the house, bringing out old boxes and cartons from various cupboards in yet another attempt to declutter and reorganize, my mind keeps going back to the beautiful red silk skirt with its beautiful green border.

The beautiful silk skirt

This skirt is nearly fourteen years old. It was a hot, humid afternoon, when my friends and I went shopping for our daughters for their very first classical dance performance.

The teacher had given us a long list that included the costume, make-up, hair accessories, jewellery and many other items.

All three of us were brimming with excitement, as we walked in and out of many shops – looking for, purchasing and ticking items off the list. It was late in the afternoon when we finally wrapped-up. We quickly decided to grab a cup of coffee before we went home, all the while talking about how we would get the girls ready for their dance programme.

The days soon flew past, and it was time to get our girls ready for their first-ever dance performance. We decided to meet up at one of our homes and get the girls ready together.

We knew the sequence in which the make-up had to be applied, but with no prior experience in classical dance make-up, we applied foundation that was a little patchy, eye make-up that looked thick, and blush that was overpowering.

The hair was yet another challenge! The girls had short hair – and to this we had to attach false hair, braid it and make it stay on their tiny heads. Add to this the confusion of the girls suddenly wanting to move or eat or drink water; and we were reduced to a bunch of anxiously giggling moms, desperate to cover our ineptitude.

The girls were finally ready, and we drove them to the venue. The teacher took the girls aside, and gently corrected their make-up and ensured that everything else was in place.

Out of sheer fear that the false hair we had attached would come crashing down on the stage, we had stuck so many hairpins and u-pins into their hair, while double-protecting the whole arrangement with black thread. Little did we know that our girls were in pain, carrying all those extra “mom-anxiety-reduction” pins.

The girls performed beautifully, and the three of us stood watching them with pride and misty eyes. After the performance, we high-fived each other in sheer relief that nothing had fallen or gone wrong on stage.

The girls came down. Their initial euphoria gave way to tiredness and irritation. They demanded that their make-up and hair be brought back to normal immediately. We went to the green room, and as our daughters winced and made faces we removed the huge army of hairpins we had loaded in their heads for protection.

The make-up came off with coconut oil and cotton. Our girls ran out like butterflies, feeling lighter now, and chased each other down the corridors. We packed up the various bits and pieces, and carefully put them away for the future.

I come back to the now. How can I ever part with this little skirt? It has in its folds the choreographed memories of laughter, friendship, music and dance and precious moments with my little princess and her darling friends!

13 thoughts on “The red silk skirt”

  1. What a beautiful story. I can relate. I have a storage unit that is filled and has been filled for way too long. It’s been almost 9 years now that I’ve been “on the road” and even when I did have my own place and was kind of settled, I still had some stuff in storage. I have a black embroidered kimono that was my Jewish Grandmother’s. What do I do with it? I have a beautiful velvet and lace dress of my Mother’s and a photo of her wearing it. Do I just toss it? I even have a small striped t-shirt that I wore at about 6 years old and a photo of my brother, me, and 2 children from another family, all of us sitting on the steps of a vacation rental. My brother and the other male child are both dead now. Do I just throw it away? Do I need to keep these things to keep the memories? I hate to just toss the beautiful velvet dress or silk kimono into the trash. They are too old to donate to a thrift store. And yet…..we hold on to so much stuff. Sigh 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Katelon for taking me on a sweet sojourn to your past. The kimono is so precious as is the photograph ❤❤ I feel these material possessions help us remember and cope with the loss of our loved ones 🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Nimi. I did donate a beautiful black satin gown, with a hand made lace collar to my hometown’s small museum. Somehow, even though my Dad had a sister, he ended up with this gown of his Mom’s. She had died when he was 11, so that puts it at a 1930’s gown. I took pictures of it so I could at least have that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I assume so. I haven’t been back to my hometown and don’t know if I’ll ever be back there, so I don’t know if they ever displayed it or not. It is a gorgeous dress and I used to play dress up in it. I have a photo of myself as a kid, wearing the dress.

        Liked by 2 people

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