Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Busy Hands, Happy Heart"

It occurred to me this afternoon why I enjoy knitting and crocheting so much - I can simultaneously feel productive and idle! Actually, it's been said before: "Busy hands, happy heart."

I learned to knit first - many years ago - from my aunt. I always wondered if she taught me this skill just to get me out of her hair, or because she knew I was actually excited to learn a hobby. She's only six years older than I, so I usually don't call her "aunt" until I'm introducing her to someone or explaining our family connection. She has always been more like an older sister to me, and to this day I remember all the small things she did with me that (at the time) may have seemed insignificant to her. Little did she know by patiently teaching me the basics of knitting all those years ago, that I would develop a craft and hobby that I cherish today. Her faith in my young ability was evident, for I still have a collection of knitting needles she gave me when I was about 12 or 13.

Around that same age, my maternal grandmother also tried to teach me to crochet and attempt a rare needlecraft: tatting. At that time I just didn't have the patience for either, and quickly lost interest. Many years later I made the attempt again with the aid of a "how-to" book, and eventually my grandmother (by then in her late eighties) helped me fine-tune my basic crochet skills.

Besides cherishing the knowledge and memories of two of my dearest relatives teaching me such a time-honored skill, I love the peace that needlework brings to my busy brain through it's repetition and motion. Although I have yet to attempt to make anything more difficult than blankets, scarves, or the like, I derive such pleasure in seeing a finished piece and presenting it to someone I love.

I've been working on an heirloom crib-blanket for my great-niece, born last month. Almost complete, it's been both a joy and a personal blessing for me to work on. While pouring a lot of love into those thousands of stitches, it's been a relaxing comfort and reliever of stress at the end of many a day! The joy in creating something for another loved one is definitely reciprocal - there is personal pleasure and pride in the physical creation of a hand-made item. I sincerely hope and pray that our society never looses the appreciation for things made by human hands. The loving attention to personal detail and art could never be experienced or matched by a machine or other technological advancement.

I so look forward to spending time with this hobby each evening...it truly helps me begin the process of unwinding at the end of a busy day, preparing my mind for peace. In the process, I create another personal work of art - left behind to be hopefully passed on to another generation.

The act of creating something - anything - for another person is such a gratifying and emotional experience. Once you've carefully and lovingly made something with your own two hands, you begin to appreciate and understand the love that other craftsmen and artists instill into their work. All the computer games, television shows, and new technology in the world can't hold a candle to that!

It is true that not all of us are gifted at the same things. However, we each have at least one ability special only to us. Sharing that ability and taking the time to create something for another is a special blessing. Whether it be knitting, sewing, baking, cooking, writing music, poetry, woodworking, candle-making, gardening, or one of the countless other possibilities, those we love will appreciate and cherish the work our hands and hearts put into that which we created.

May your hearts and hands be satisfied and happy today, and may you pass that appreciation on to others. (Thank you, Grandmother and "Aunt" Vickie!)

Pay it forward - spread a smile!
(photo courtesy of Google images.)

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