Last year I came across a shawl pattern that made me smile, I think it was the colored yarn and the pretty photograph that really did it for me. It just looked so happy and happy was what I craved right then. I was healing from surgery, a broken heart and the loss of my beloved Pogo.
(doesn’t this make you smile too?)
Now that my body is healing I wondered if my heart has, and realize, no, it has not. A friend offered me a kitten and I just could barely finish the conversation before dissolving into tears. This simple and kind offer brought up all kinds of things lurking under the surface that I have been holding down and out of sight. I miss my cat. I miss being loved. I miss my late boyfriend and the other one before him that just didn’t work out. I miss being happy.
Trying to define what makes me happy is part of my healing exercises. Positive thinking and planning for the future is part of this too, so is playing with pretty, soft yarn and being creative. I realized the other day that we can’t do anything about the big hard things that happen in our lives: death, illness, loss, pain. We can, however, actively seek out and build up on the small things that bring happiness. Seeing a beautiful planting in a flower bed and pausing for a moment to enjoy it; standing in a sunny spot instead of rushing to cross the street; having a cup of really good coffee out of a pretty cup; reading a note from a friend send by the post; sharing a meal with someone you love – these are all small things that make me feel good. They are not life altering moments, often they are quite brief but I am making a conscious choice to seek them out and create them for myself. My hope is that by having enough Small Things happen will sort of offset or cushion the awfulness of the Big Things of which I have not control. Isn’t there a saying such as “Many small steps make a mountain” or something like that?
With this new mindset, I took stock on the Small Things that make me happy and of course making things with my hands and my heart were high on the list. I already have dozens of scarves and shawls and lots of socks but the point of it is that I made them, they are healing activities and bring me happiness during the process.
That night I decided to purchase the Camino Bubbles shawl by Kieran Foley and make it for myself. It will be ready by summer when our delightful fogbank descends. So, I cracked open a bottle of wine from my little adventure this weekend, and got started.
The yarn I am using is called Poems Sock by Wisdom Yarns in the subtle Ivy Trail colorway. It is pretty, with soft greens and creams and bark hues that flow from one color to the next. This yarn is fun to use because it is a single ply, sometimes is thick and sometimes it is thin, it has a bit of a shimmer to it in the sunshine and feels good to work with in my hands. I made my mom an adorable tea cozy for her baby Brown Betty with this yarn in an autumnal color one year and I still have that yarn in my stash which is destined for a sweater someday, perhaps someday soon.
I turned on an old time radio program on a podcast that my dear sis recommended, Case Closed by Relic Radio. They feature murder and detective mystery stories from the 40’s and 50’s and sometimes the shows were set in San Francisco. It’s wonderful to knit by, although sometimes it got so exciting I forgot where I was in the pattern and had to go backwards a bit.
A glass of wine, an hour or two of knitting and the aromas of my pot roast slowly simmering in the oven finally made me feel a bit better.
At lunch yesterday I knit while in the sun in a little garden area in FiDi. As I was knitting I realized there were tiny shadows bouncing over my knitting. I looked up to see that they were from the honeybees zooming around the flowers, how delightful is that. They didn’t mind sharing for a moment for a quick picture. I also noticed a large swathe of star jasmine which are starting to set buds. I will be keeping an eye on them and will be sure to return when they are in bloom.
I will be happy again, and while I find my happiness through Small Things I will have lots of “Heather-love” in knitting form to keep me cozy.