Years ago, one of my nieces went to Italy on a school trip. She happened to be in Rome for Palm Sunday and Holy Week and she brought Mom back a lovely ornately crafted piece of what can best be described as abstract palm art and I remember thinking at the time that it was such a lovely use of the palms.
Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Cait, Katie and I went to Mass and picked up palms at the door (little did we know that they would hand them out at the beginning of the service). Some other people had picked up palms on their way in, too, and Katie and I sat in wonder as we watched them create beautiful things with their palms. One woman spun hers into a lovely flower. A teenage girl in front of us made small cross after small cross.
Katie and I kept marveling at how, back in the day (!), we would never be able to do such a thing. We had to sit still and be quiet throughout Mass (hence why my children have yet to attend Mass with me on any regulr basis). I noticed other young-ish people playing with their palms (although two boys were spoken sternly to by their father for sword fighting with their palms...that was, I think, too clever of a use of their palms in his book). One little girl even had a bouquet of flowers made of palms and construction paper. I have a hunch that the new generations are being taught how to be creative with their palms, most likely in faith formation classes (known to us old timers as CCD).
I wanted to work up the nerve to ask the girl in front of us if she would make crosses out of our palms, but was feeling shy (believe it or not!). Katie eventually leaned forward and asked for me and the girl didn't even hesitate to just give us some of the little crosses that she had made to choose from. It was very sweet and now we each have a little palm cross of our own.
Now...if I could just figure out how to make one...