What is this life…

…..if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare, or at least sit down and be creative once in a while.

 I have, though, spent some time creating Christmas puddings in the last couple of days, aided by virtual stirs and wishes of Elder and Younger Daughters, as well as our own, but after having collected my thoughts over recent weeks I have now made a start on Elder Daughter’s wedding garter. My intention is that it reflects different aspects of both her and me, so it will include various appropriate trimmings, one of which will be the knitted rose shown above. It is taken from ‘100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet’ by Leslie Stansfield, which contains lots (well, 100) of patterns for extraordinarily realistic blooms and leaves – I have had the book for a couple of years but this is the first one I have made. It took only an hour and a half to knit, plus about 15 minutes to press and sew up, but I had just started knitting it when I thought “why don’t I go and sit oot in the sitooterie?”

So I did. I took myself, my knitting and some meditative music and sat and knitted for the hour and a half it took, watching the clouds wash over the blueness of the sky, watching the birds as they flew to and from the birdfeeders, listening to the agate windchimes gently tinkling in the breeze, admiring the sundavilles and the bougainvillea in their winter quarters next to me, and wondered why I didn’t make the time to do it more often. In terms of the knitting, from being a child right up to the time Elder Daughter was born I always had some knitting on the go; that stopped once I bought a knitting machine, and then the knitting stopped altogether as I wasn’t having any ‘sitting’ time.

It’s so easy to let creative things be pushed aside when time is precious, and although I have maintained my creativity in the garden and, to a certain degree in the kitchen, there is something additional and spiritually rewarding about sitting and focussing on creating an article or item – I suppose it is the meditative quality, the relative stillness and oneness that it involves, and the same would of course apply to some things carried out standing up, like painting or sculpting. I still get satisfaction from what I create in the garden or kitchen, so it must be the degree of physical activity that makes some activities more of a meditative process than others – their tranquillity.

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2 Responses to What is this life…

  1. paulinemulligan says:

    Your post has connected on various levels Cathy, thanks for the reminder to make my Christmas cake and pudding, must get on with them! Like you I always used to have some knitting on the go, especially when the children were little, I haven’t knitted for quite some time now, which is a shame. Painting took over when I left work to have the children, this was creating in relative stillness, but when I took up carving, the peace was shattered! I still love creating things and that includes the garden, and I hope it never stops, no matter how old I get.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, if you have grown up being creative I don’t think think that underlying desire to create will ever go away – and I’ve realised with my on-going revamp of the garden that the creation element is the part I enjoy most. My Girls have grown up up knowing that “I could make/do that for a fraction of the price” was never far from my lips, but it wasn’t just a matter of cost, it was the joy of creating – and sometimes the challenge of creating too. And it’s not just tranquil creation that nurtures my soul – even tasks like chipping mortar off all the cobbles so I could reuse them was a meditation in itself, creating a pile of useable stone. But I have neglected the gentler crafts in favour of the more physical creations in recent years, so I think that’s what I was hankering for in the post – and I suppose my poetry falls into the former category too, so at least I am beginning to make some progress.

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