When I was about 10 years old my grandmother taught me to knit. Of her 6 granddaughters I was the only one who ever showed any interest in her clacking needles. I was mesmerized watching her rhythmic hands perform the same elegant motion over and over while she silently built something useful and beautiful.
During cold winters and during the most introspective periods of my life, I turn to knitting. Knitting keeps me seated, holds me still, allows me to day dream and ponder. It focuses my attention so that my mind can wander free. When I'm knitting, I don't worry about wasting time "doing nothing." I'm building.
My hands are following a pattern, a blueprint, adhering to a plan to create a shawl, or blanket, cap or sweater. Sometimes I say to myself, "let this knitting be a prayer," with the hope and intention that while my hands build my mind will free itself to be open to revelation. These days, between occupations, I don't want to miss a single revelation!
And, knitting is a great way to tune in to other folks. Recently I took my knitting to a group meeting and found by occupying my hands I was able to better focus on what each person was sharing. A group member commented after the meeting that he noticed I was not swinging my leg while I knitted! I guess if my hands are busy I can keep my feet still. Who knew?
If any of you want to bring your yarn and needles and sit with me awhile, I'd love the company. If you would like to learn to knit, I can get you started. It would make my grandmother proud.