When I was a young mother I was already thinking of the time when I would be a grandmother. I imagined giving those future babies things that my own babies had used, and so I saved certain items for that purpose.
Then I did become a grandmother and took out the items I had saved only to find that I could not part with them yet.
The receiving blankets looked too shabby and worn to give as a gift. But I still loved them. The sweaters still looked so beautiful that I didn’t want them to get lost in the mountain of gifts that many babies today receive. And…. I still loved them for what they meant to me.
Those baby days will always be uniquely dear to me because of how rare it has been that life has felt good and right. My little pile of baby things is concrete evidence of that truth.
See how easy it would be to slide into compulsive hoarding?
I am however greatly improved since my 2013 breakdown. Now I often have enough energy and imagination that I can dig into the corners of my house and make reasonable decisions about what to keep, what to give away, and what to throw away.
A couple weeks ago I chose to work on the top shelf of my linen closet where I store some inherited quilts and the little pile of baby things. My fresh eye still saw how shabby the blankets look. But my fresh mind got the idea that I could remake them and then keep them for my great-grandchildren or donate them.
It’s a messy thing to unravel old crochet work! It’s very linty! The yarn is not so good either but still usable.
I found that I had to concentrate on every step of the project because the yarn kind of sticks to itself. Unraveling is tricky, rolling it back up is tricky, and re-crocheting it is tricky. I had to take breaks and let the world back into my brain again.
By the time I got a new little blanket made I realized that the project was acting as an exercise in meditation. My hands, the yarn, and the crocheting all helped me focus on the moment and let the rest of the world fall away for awhile.
Last night I started my third such project and it still helps me focus my mind in the same way meditation does. I think I’m on to something here.
Such a weird little way into healing. But it’s working so I’m going to keep going.