Monday, December 7, 2015

Begin Again

Like everyone I know, I am hugging my loved ones a little more often this season. The inexplicable violence in the world makes me want to keep them safe, warm, and loved. Right now that feels like a tall order, even for a knitter. Each time a mass shooting hits the headlines I set the news aside, then take a deep breath, walk, and/or make contact with someone I love. Then in the evening, I make a cup of tea and sit down to knit.

Last night I wondered, what if knitting were the metaphor for our communities? What if we cared for others the way knitters knit? That is, what if we realized that one dropped stitch or lost human being compromises the fabric of our communities? What if we tried to fix our mistakes? What if we cast on community projects again and again, trying to embrace the tension sometimes created by diversity? The problems are so overwhelming, I just drink my tea, knit, or escape into a book.

Still, I try to practice kindness, that is smile and speak to my Jewish and Muslim neighbors, thank the man with a disability who sacks my groceries, let the other guy into my lane of 5:00 p.m. traffic (well at least sometimes) and then knit like crazy. I finished the little baby sweater. Soon I will seam it together and knit the neckband so it will be ready for our soon-to-be-born grandchild. Last year I made mittens, hats, and slipper socks for my three grandsons and I will knit for them again soon. However, their parents are able to buy the next bigger size of snow pants and snow boots so I know they will be warm this winter. Other little ones are not so fortunate. Recently, I found the Bundles of Joy group on Ravelry. The group knits for babies and children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Last month, I sent three newborn hats knit from sock yarn scraps to the OB ward of their hospital. This weekend I knit a pair of mittens and am working on a second pair. These are very small gestures. At least, three newborns have winter hats and two children will have warmer hands.

This afternoon I am headed out for a long walk to begin again. As I put one foot in front of the other, I will take some deep breaths of cold crisp air. I will send love to my dear ones and promise kindness to strangers. Then this evening I will knit, stitch by stitch beginning again.


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