A lot of people have asked me about the Cassidy gifts lately. Where did they start? Why are you all charmed?
For as long as I can remember, and longer, rumors about the Cassidy women and their magic have always swirled through Bliss, Texas like a gathering tornado. For 150 years, my family has managed to dodge most of the rumors, brushing off the idea that magic infuses our handwork, and chalking up any unusual goings-on to coincidence.
But we all know that the magic started the very day Butch Cassidy, my great-great-great grandfather, had turned his back to an ancient Argentinean fountain, dropped a gold coin into it, and made a wish. The Cassidy family legend says he asked for his firstborn child, and all who came after, to live a charmed life, the threads of good fortune, talent, and history flowing like magic from their fingertips.
|My great-great-great granddaddy, Butch Cassidy|
Well, that magic spilled from the Cassidy women’s hands into handmade tapestries and homespun wool, crewel embroidery and perfectly pieced and stitched quilts. And into my dressmaking. It connected us to our history, and to each other.
Butch hadn’t wanted his family to be outcasts as he and Cressida--the love of his life--had been, and so his Argentinean wish also gifted his descendants with their own special charms. Whatever Meemaw, my great-grandmother, wanted, she got. My Grandmother, Nana, was a goat-whisperer. Mama’s green thumb could make anything grow.
None of understand how these charms are supposed to endear us to our neighbors. No matter how hard we try to keep our magic on the down-low, people see. And they talk.
The townsfolk come to Mama when their crops won’t grow. They come to Nana when their goats won’t mind. And they come to Meemaw when they want something so badly, they can’t see straight. I was seventeen when I finally realized that what Butch had really given the women in my family was a thread that connected them with others.
Me? I think I already told you, the wish dried out before I was born. I have no special charm, and I’ve always felt as if a part of me was missing because of it.
Being back home in Bliss has made the feeling stronger, but that's a story for another day.
May your holidays be ChArMeD!
~Harlow Jane Cassidy
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