What is it about knitting that brings me in to a state of relaxation? Is it the simple repetition of the movement. Is it the tactile sensation of the soft fibers working their way through my fingers? The colors of the yarn as the pattern emerges. Dorothy Day was quoted as saying, “Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.” I find that when life is at its most hectic, I can find peace in the simple process of creating a garter stitch scarf. The most basic and repetitive of patterns and yet it brings with it, peace.
Is it simply the process of creation or is it more. Is such nirvana found in other hobbies. Perhaps if all goes right the answer is yes. I have seen my husband work on a car all day long. And if all goes well, he is energized at the end, uplifted. But should a project go wrong – it becomes labor. Perhaps that is the key to finding the peace we all seek. It is the activity or work done with joy, lacking frustration. If you add the negative aspect to anything it becomes labor. It loses its appeal. Once the appeal is lost, how do we get the joy and peace back. Can it be gotten back. I believe it can.
I have in the works several different book ideas. When I had not committed to writing them, it was a joy to do. The ideas came quickly to me. I was energized and charged up after writing something. Now that I have committed to finishing two (perhaps three) actual books, it seem to be more a labor than anything.
So how do we find peace in the things we MUST do. This labor of love. When I began a wrap for my mother I was excited and charged with the work. But as the task went on longer than I expected, it became something I must finish. I had to work on it to get it done. It became a form of labor. But once done, I was very pleased and happy with my accomplishment. It became a labor of love.
Brother Lawrence, a 16th century monk endeavored to make every action an act of love and devotion to God. In succeeding, he entered into Gods Presence. And no matter what he encountered in life, from crippling disability and harsh winters in a monastery lacking any modern-day comforts, he lived his life worshiping and loving in Gods Presence. He has become a christian icon even today.
Reading his writings I realized that I too must endeavor to turn my labor into an act of love while I am engaged in it. Turn the process into a loving thing will rob it of its laborious feel. If I can do this with everything I do, from knitting and writing to my job and cleaning the house, then everything I do will be uplifting.
This is the goal I set for myself. To turn my labor into acts of love. In the coming year, there will be hardship and worry. I will attempt to counter it with Peace and Love. I may not obtain a perfect loving presence of God, but if all that I do is done with love, I will accomplish much.
I must remember: knit – purl – breathe – love