Use Whatever You Need

A couple of days ago I was sitting with my 8year-old son while my husband & daughter shopped. Out of the blue he turned to me and asked,

“Mom, do you believe in Santa?”

I stopped breathing a little and hedged an answer, “Sure, I believe in the spirit of Christmas, buddy.”

He paused.

“But do you believe in Santa?”

He’s a smart kid and I should have known that he’d catch that I didn’t really answer his question.

“Yes. I believe Santa is magical and this is the most magical time of year.”

That he accepted and we started talking about what he hoped to get from Santa. This time around it was a toy pterosaur. I started to breath again.

It made me realize though that this might be the last year my little boy believes in Santa. The last year he writes letter after letter to the big man who lives at the North Pole. The last year he fights with his sister over who gets to leave the magic key outside the door for Santa (we don’t have a chimney, so we hang a magic key from a sparkly ribbon outside the door). The last year he watches with wide eyes as NORAD tracks Santa on his magical Christmasy tour. The last year he thinks he hears reindeer hooves outside his window. My little guy is really growing up.

Luckily though, the holiday season is the one time of year when time seems to stand still for us. Where I am, the snow falls and the outdoors become quiet. We partake in our annual traditions. We reminisce. It’s as if the world quiets itself, stands still and allows the past & present & future to coexist for a little while – just like in a Christmas Carol when Scrooge visits Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future all in one night. Our traditions further bind past, present, and future into one as we carry good times from the past & prepare our next generation in the ways of celebrating and being thankful. And for this mom, I can not worry about how fast my boy is growing up and I can just enjoy baking cookies together & the look on his face when he meets his new pet snake.

So much has changed for me personally and professionally over the last year. My family has been through a new job change, we have battled for our health, and we have come together when we most needed support. Professionally I left a job I loved, lost touch with a lot of dear people as a result, and from this I’ve painstakingly poured myself into and built this little corner of the internet. This is my creative refuge — it was hard for me to go from a local community of knitters, both students and friends, to clicking away on my own. The adjustment has been rough at times, but every comment left here, every email I’ve received from friends both new & old, every new bond I’ve formed, every opportunity to try something new has been precious. It has reminded me that though you may be far & wide, though some of us have never met, I still have a community.  A very rich community. Thank you for that. Your presence here & your support has meant the world to me and kept me afloat when I had doubts about whether or not I should continue to write.

One part of my community is a former student that I have been knitting with regularly. As we were knitting this week, I mentioned that I was just a bit short on yarn for the final installment of the MerryKAL. She instantly went to her stash, pulled out exactly what I needed, and set it in front of me.

20131220-114338.jpg“Use whatever you need,” she said.

(The sheep isn’t part of this story. It’s just cute.)

No argument. No worries. Just use what you need.

In this moment, I was reminded just what makes the knitting community special — it’s generosity & it’s kindness. That generosity, that kindness, that timeless support is the magic that bonds knitters together from the very first stitch. It’s doesn’t matter how fast you knit or if you use fancy yarn. It doesn’t matter if you have a vibrant knitting group or you knit alone. It makes no difference if you are generous with your words, your yarn, or your encouragement. Or if you wield your kindness to help traverse mistakes or to inspire new ideas. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been knitting for 1 month, or 1 year, or 75years. Every tool, every project, every material, every technique has roots in Knitters of the Past. We find inspiration all around us in the Knitters of the Present. And what we do today, will be further foundations for the Knitters of the Future. And in the veins of us all, runs the generosity & kindness & timeless support that has been there from the very first knitter.

We are lucky. It isn’t just one time of the year that we are able savor, when we can let time stand still. It’s every time we pick up our needles. That’s magic that requires no carefully worded explanations, no holding your breath. That’s magic to just believe in, be thankful for, and embrace.

11 responses to “Use Whatever You Need

  1. I know that all of your former students appreciate all the time and effort you put into your projects. If it weren’t for you many years ago, I would not be clicking away at night on my latest projects. Sarah, you are an inspiration to me and to everyone that you come in contact with. It is a pleasure having worked with you, knit with you, and most of all, knowing you!! Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family!!

  2. the knitting community is indeed wonderful and generous. until recently my knit group was just in my little home office. I visited friends far and wide through my computer screen. I loved finding your blog because although I have never met you I actually could run into you sometime at my LYS. I love reading your adventures in Horicon Marsh and can’t wait to hear how your son reacts to his new pet X-mas morning.
    recently I was asked to join a knit group and although I have only been to 3 meetings everyone has been so welcoming and supportive. this might be the year I emerge from my hermitage.

    • The world is indeed a small place and you just never know you you’ll run into! So glad you are enjoying my blog & that you’ve found a group to knit with! Enjoy!

  3. Well said, just how I feel too. Have a wonderful Christmas, looking forward to reading your stories of the Christmas Day surprises. Happy knitting.

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