Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Simple Gift

"Konichiwa Yasua-san. Kono yarunu wa Mia-chan ni." "Hai, arigato." My Japanese is not great, but Yasua graciously took my bag of yarn for his daughter.

My neighbor Mia is in recovery, she was in a hit and run incident while biking home one night. Mia didn't make headline news but she made the police blotter. About a month ago her mother, Meryl, told me the police found Mia unconscious in the middle of Pacific and Underhill. She sustained serious injuries and will be in for a long-haul of rehabilitation. It's heart-breaking to think about. Mia is very athletic, she used to drum in a Taiko troupe. Now she's practically learning to walk again.

Both Mia and her sister Erica knit and crochet and I figured that I have a lot of stash and it was time to let it go. I got over my separation anxiety, went through the yarn bins and found some pleasing colors, — warm yellow, deep orange, soft pinks, ochre, walnut, chestnut. These are all left over from old projects and gifts. Silk/wool, wool/alpaca, cashmere/wool, 100% Australian merino, worsted, chunky, etc., — why do I hang on to these things? It's almost like a smaller ring of Dante's hell, The Hoarding. I have lots of grey — cool, warm, charcoal, heathered black. I added them to the pile. I swifted and re-wound three freezer bags worth of wool into a tidy presentation.

Just last week Meryl told me that Mia was absolutely thrilled with all the yarn "She's making a scarf while she's on the mend." I was so glad to hear the excitement in Meryl's voice. A reflexologist once told me that excercising the hands and feet help in recovery after nerve damage — it rewires the brain. Sometimes the simple steps are the most important. Sometimes the smallest things turn out to be the bigger ones, like peeling an orange, walking, or just sitting up and taking a deep solid breath. But usually we don't notice these things, and much like house keys we only look for them when they are not in plain sight. Meryl went in to the house and returned and handed me a hunter green sweater — beautiful, simple, turned crew neck, double moss pattern. "Yasua's mother made this long ago but it didn't fit any of us." It was a sweater I couldn't refuse. I thanked her and took it home and as luck would have it fit me well.

Long ago, my father bought me a black cardigan before I went off to college. It was too big, he said "You'll grow into it." Boy-howdy was he right about that, it's a bit tight and shop worn now but I still wear it and think about him. Sweaters never made sense to me growing up in the tropics, but I always regard them with much sentiment.

I'm copying some stitch patterns for Mia to try.

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