I was reading over on the Craft of Laughter about giving from the heart with handmade love or simple acts of kindness; it is definitely what has been on my mind this week. With the holidays approaching, it can be overwhelming, to say the least, thinking about all the stuff that we need to do, what we need to buy, what to give, etc, etc. But, just like that blog post says, giving can be so beautifully simple and sweet without all of the stress and anxiety that we might be prone to. It is even more poignant these days as I mull over what we can do with our income slashed in half due to my husband being on the injured list. What does it mean to give when we feel we have little to offer? What does it mean to receive with nothing expected in return?
It means, simply, that I am one ripple in the ocean. Us knitters, of ALL people, grasp this beautiful idea more than anyone else I know. Our small gestures knit into little stitches are the first of a gentle push towards a bigger wave of love and generosity. We knitters GIVE our whole hearts through our hands and fiber, whether it is a shawl for a woman in pain to a sweater for a penguin around the globe. And it doesn’t end with fiber for us, does it? Several years ago when I experienced one of the most difficult financial difficulties of my life, it was knitters that came out of the wood-work to wrap me in comfort. And watching it all be paid forward … mind blowing.
When my girls ask me, “Can we give some of our toys to the Angel Tree,” I know that I’m witnessing that “pay it forward” result, though it took some time for me to realize that it WAS me teaching them. I had thought my giving was so mundane … buying coffee for the lady crying in the parking lot or lunch for the gal in the beat-up old car behind me in the drive-thru. Maybe it was when they watched me lovingly wrap up a pair of socks to gift to a friend who needed to keep her feet warm after paralysis. Just the beginning of the ripple … my oldest is knitting to give to family while my youngest asked me for ideas of things she could make to give. They both even came to me yesterday and said, “Can we use the last of the apples from the tree to make apple butter for our neighbors?” And it doesn’t even end there … their friends see my girls giving and go home to do the same. I know that the very fact that I am talking about this right now brings to mind things YOU can do to give to others this winter season: hats and mittens for the Salvation Army to give out to the homeless, cookies for the neighbors, a hot meal for the old veteran living down at the end of the street. Oh, yes, we knitters have some of the most giving hearts I know and I am so grateful to be a part of it, part of the love.
So, whatever you do, don’t ever think that your givingness is small or meaningless. Your love is what keeps this world so special and so I say thank you, to all of you, for everyone.