Last week, it was still terribly cold, but somehow I talked myself into walking up the road to the quarry, wearing an outfit that made use of a wool blanket and a large safety pin, on top of my usual winter regalia. Even so, my eyes were teary from the cold, and on the way back my eyelashes actually froze together.
Coming into my driveway, I had a sudden, distinct memory of my kids when they were 12, and 8, and 5, sitting on our back porch on a spring morning, playing with a box of kittens. It may have been that the light was similar, that brought the image back to mind. I thought of myself back then, 40 yrs old, frustrated and desperate for the family to "grow up" so I could have some time to myself, some time to weave. I also remembered that even as I thought it, I knew I'd miss days like that, when they were young, playing on the back porch in the sun. It was such an intense remembrance that I couldn't shake it all day.
They are grown up children now, each living her/his own adult life. I might be able to persuade them to come back and play with a box of kittens on the back porch, but sooner or later, they'd want to go back to their jobs and homes. Having children, for me, has been the experience of putting myself out of the center of my own life, loving human beings so hard that it often hurt, and still always, always encouraging them to leave me, little by little. That's a pretty tricky thing to manage, emotionally. We want to keep who we love close, usually.
Well, I got through that day without a tear. I wasn't sad. I have my workshop, full of projects and good looms, with good warps on them, and more to come. I am so fortunate. I have what I only dreamed of on the back porch with those kids that morning. I have what I hoped for then, and better. After all, I still have those kids, who are adults you'd like to know, if you knew them, and I am free to work. I am 24 years older, a lucky woman.
Item: In case you haven't seen it, Vibeke, the vivacious Norwegian knitter, tea and poetry lover who writes A Butterfly in My Hair, is having a Month of Giving on her blog right now. She has interviewed artists on the subject of gifts and giving, and asked each artist to contribute a gift each day in the Month of Giving. Leave a comment on her blog for any of the gifts you'd like a chance at winning. In a few days, one of my rag pot mats will be offered, with a small interview. I chose to give away the pot mat because Vibeke is such a great tea lover, and I imagined a hot tea pot sitting on it. If you'd care to read, comment, and enter to win, please do. There's lots of pretty things, and interesting people to meet over there.