Mar 30, 2014

the wisdom of simple pleasures

When I was eight years old, my grandmother taught me how to knit. After repeated attempts at teaching me to sew, we decided to try something new. I have always loved the idea of sewing--to be able to make my own clothes, and to be one of those crafty mamas is something I often fantasize about. (And no, I haven't given up on this idea yet.) But it was such exacting work, that the perfectionist in me could not handle it at the time. Not to mention that I have a tendency toward extreme impatience. Knitting was a completely different story, as I loved it immediately.

A year later, there was a knitting class in my girl scouts group, and I began to knit a scarf for my grandmother. The yarn was a rich and regal purple--perfectly matched in color and temperament for her. I eagerly awaited the day that I could give it to her, imagining the look of pride and joy on her face. Unfortunately, this never came to be, as she passed away before I could finish the scarf.

I gave a couple of half hearted attempts at knitting other projects throughout the years, but was never quite able to bring myself to finish them. I think that perhaps I had never been able to forgive myself for that unfinished gift. That sadness had lingered somewhere deep within my heart, and as a result, I could never fully open myself back up to this art that I loved.

Recently, I have tentatively began to knit again. At the parent-child class that Julie and I attend, our wonderful teacher has taught us how important it is that our children see us do meaningful work. This can mean cleaning, setting a beautiful table, making a meal with love, or creating something beautiful with our hands. While the children play, we have, over the weeks, sanded and shaped knitting needles, polished and adorned them, and began to knit. We are immersed in the meditative rhythm of pulling needle and yarn, while keeping a quietly observant eye on what is transpiring around us. It is calming, and so good for the soul.

Today I picked up some gorgeous blue yarn and knitting needles at a local store. I have decided to knit again, because I love it with all my heart, and because there are loved ones that I so want to knit for. I want Julie to have a scarf that is infused with tenderness, and James to have gloves that he will wear on cold nights and know how much he is cherished. As I write this, I know that it is never too late to finish what has been started, and I am healed--one row at a time.


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