The one thing no one could deny about my mother, besides her effervescent personality, was that she was talented. Whether it was painting, woodworking or singing, she had a wealth of talents. She painted original landscapes and still life (with the ever patient mentorship of Bob Ross). She created not only toy trains but also name plates for all her kids. She constantly added flare to homework assignments. She could take any mundane thing and make it POP! Although, I didn’t inherit her gift for drawing or painting, we did find common ground on one craft – crocheting.
One Christmas she decided that we’d work on a project together. She’d crochet a large green blanket with squares of Christmas Trees on it, and I’d do the same pattern but in pillow coverings in red. But first she had to teach me how to crochet! So we sat down and she patiently taught me how to hold the needle and how to thread the yarn through my little hands. I was maybe about twelve at the time. The pillows and blanket came out well – a holiday miracle! But I still put away my needles for several years after that.
Until, in my junior year in high school when we were reading “A Tale of Two Cities”. I decided that for my presentation on the classic I would focus on Madame LaFarge. And like her, I would knit my thoughts out (though in my case crochet them.) So I crocheted the word “death” to represent Madame’s obsession with revenge. Things got a little strange with that, as I found myself adding the final touches on my fabric “death” in the middle of my physics class. Luckily, my physics teacher didn’t take it personally. 😉
What I love about crocheting is that it is a “mindless” task, in that it keeps your hands busy and allows your mind to clear. Obviously, even the simplest of patterns requires a bit of concentration but once you get your hands moving in rhythm, it allows all else to take a backseat. It’s quite like a meditation. A moving meditation. It gives you the space to stay in the present moment, because you can’t be thinking about how to pay your rent or about tomorrow’s schedule when you need to count stitches. Trust me – it sucks to have to recount a 280 stitch row on a blanket when you lose your place!
I believe all crafts are like that. They keep you in the here and now, when our normal inclination is to worry and fret about either the future or the past. In our modern society, we rarely stay in the moment. There’s just too much else to think about! But as we all should remember:
We need to enjoy our “nows” as much as we should reminisce about our “yesterdays” and dream about our “tomorrows”.
If you want to reconnect with your moments, then join me as I host an adult crafting class to create a classic kid craft – the God’s Eye, or as I like to call it a Goddess Eye. The class will be held on August 19th at 3pm at the Anythink Wright Farms Library in Thornton, CO. Come on over here to register for some good ol’ fashioned fun and active meditative work!
Now over to you – what crafts from childhood do you miss doing? How do you stay in the moment? Let me know in the comments below!
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