A Seasonal Habit

A tattered, faded, pinkish chair looking orange in harsh winter sunlight coming through the window. Ugly but with a “sink into it” comfort. I’ll be sitting here later. A glass topped end table. With wheels. A small metal tub sits next it. Repurposed. It used to house geraniums on a tiny porch in a bygone apartment. Now, it holds mix matched balls of yarn. Soft greys. Royal blues. Sunburn red. A cheeky pink. An old leather ottoman covered in a green and blue horse blanket which saw it’s last horse ages ago. Ready for stretched out legs and criss-crossed ankles.That spot holds a history of me. A blanket from my college equestrian days. When my “done-beared child” hips no longer fit the riding breeches they were sent off to Goodwill. But the blanket – it just got softer so it’s been allowed to stay.The chair recently thrifted by my boyfriend of a decade. The end table from an Ikea trip in Hotlanta. I didn’t mean to buy it. I only went in for Swedish Meatballs. I was enamored of all things round that day.All souvenirs of a move from the land of  “before I had a child” to “mother of a teenager”. The yarn in the tub, that’s new. A fairly recent habit. Recent meaning I picked it up in the second half of my 41 years.For the last few years, sometime after Halloween and before Christmas, when the wind picks up and the skies become more steel than blue, I pick up knitting needles. My Girl Wonder and her dog are tucked in. The house is dark. And quiet. Save for an old floor lamp near my chair and the light from the TV. I nest. Warm socks. Legs thrown up on the ottoman. I bury myself in a heavy quilt. This tiny old house never seems to warm up in the winter. My “I See Dumb People” mug filled with hot tea on the table beside me.

I start a scarf each time. And knit all winter long. Confident busy hands. Right needle tucks into a loop on the left needle. Lift. Wrap. Retreat. Over and Over. Stopping only for tea.

Settled. Comfortable  This whole moment. I like the way it feels. The steadiness. The rhythm. The whispered scrape and click of wooden needles. The sultry in and out of  making loops.

Sipping. Lifting. Wrapping. Shifting.

A scraggly line of wooly knots begins to grow wider. Old loop shifts. New loop born. Old. New. In. Out. With every row, the shape I hold changes.

And sometimes when I sit here. My thoughts wander. It’s what they do best. They go up and out and stare back at me. Nestled in between pieces of my past and the here and now. With more curves and creases than I had 20 years ago.

The me of 20 years ago. Reckless. 100 miles an hour down the highway reckless. The me of today. Reckless. Dancing in the kitchen with wild abandon. Teaching my daughter to shimmy and shake, Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” blasting out of the stereo. Cause every girl should be raised knowing how to howl at the moon. Old things shift to make room for new. The rhythm of my life has changed. Motherhood has changed my rhythm. I’ve become stronger, bolder, steady. For my child. For myself. My wild ruckus has become about barefoot joy-stomping and tending hearth and home. Leading a parade for two with a teenaged girl who I must help shift into a woman.

Yes, the rhythm has definitely changed. I’m learning that I kinda like it this way.

This winter I’m trying a new scarf – this one to be exact. As cold as it is this year, I may actually finish this one. There’s also a super lovely and simple crotchet tutorial here on Mama And Baby Love.

What are you working on building this winter?

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