Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I am knitting a baby bib right now.

A very simple, very straight-forward, very you-don't-have-to-even-read-a-pattern baby bib.

In easy care, no fuss cotton.

Which says a lot about where I am right now, because normally, knitting is-- for me-- all about the process. It's about the materials (I love the sensory feedback of different fibers), the colors, the new experiences that lead to a finished product I can hold in my hand and muse over.

Right now, I don't need any of that. Right now, I am knitting for the familiarity, for the the reinforcement of the rhythm, for the comfort of place. 

Right now, I am knitting as therapy.

Three weeks ago now, I had just unpacked the very last box due to be opened. We had settled in, inasmuch as we plan on doing here. We had held two full days of school in a room perfectly designed to corral both Oliver and Reuven, to engage Seven, to keep Mani exploring, and to house the resources needed by Jo, Atticus, and Logan. We had shelved our old friends, our books. We had created little corners here and there throughout the house for purposeful play. We had set up home, and we were growing familiar with all that was once so completely foreign and new.

And then, there was a storm. Oh, I admit-- I loved that storm. It was sudden and wild and violent and all the things that make weather so clearly a reflection of how small we are on God's great planet. There was lightning-- lightning! So rare for these parts as to actually terrify Oli. There were long rolls of thunder that simply flowed into one another, creating a growling, angry sky. Rain pounded--pelted-- from the a prematurely black sky. The rhythm beat on the roof was crazy and new to me, but I had no point of reference. Was this how it always sounds here, in this big, echoing house? We stood at the wide back windows and watched as the yard began to grow a garden of puddles, which blossomed into ponds.

It passed, as these things usually do, just as suddenly as it began. The sun shone through parting clouds and I felt myself sigh. 

It was that exact moment that Mr. Blandings decided to check the basement. Just my saying that tells you what happened next. Shouts and shrieks and screams for boots, flashlights, help.

My bare feet hit a soggy carpet. Moments later, rising water lapped at my ankles. As I watched, inches of dark wetness crept towards our sweet school oasis. I remember choking back sobs, grabbing the hem of my skirt and knotting it at my knees. I remember splashing towards the door to that room, an-already floating Woody doll bumping past. I remember seeing Oli's sandpaper letter cards go under. I remember the wooden counting pegs becoming boats. 

I remember asking God why, why, why.

We survived all this, of course. We threw away the Lauri puzzles and book shelves and the Kingfisher Encyclopedia and the Little Golden Books. We cried over the cherished things that were lost, and the sense of safety that was stripped from us. People-- good people, the best kind of people-- stepped up and replaced Magic School Bus books and wooden toy food and even those sandpaper letters. 

We are moving on. Shaken, but moving on nonetheless. 

Everything-- my sense of peace, my comfort level, my known quantities-- have, once again, been thrown into a hopper and spit out scrambled.

And so I knit. Quietly, with an empty mind. My hands do the work, my mind does the wandering. I seek the face of God. I seek the strength to continue encouraging and inspiring the host of faces who look to me. I seek the assurance that He will not strip us down to the places we cannot bear, or deal with us too harshly when our faith falters in the dark moments.

I knit for therapy. And He is there. 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.
1 Peter 4:12


walnutshademom said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss with the flood. My heart hurts with you for the peace and security that were stolen when those precious books and toys were soaked.


Michelle said...

I am so sorry. Flooding is a misery I never wish to endure again. So much so that we bought a house on a hill at the edge of the prairie 45 minutes north of Joplin (before the tornado, though that wouldn't have changed the decision.) We have a cellar. I'd rather it all just blow away than turn to filthy mush before my eyes. ((HUGS)) to you.