In the Raw – Pioneer Mamas and Me

The pile of knotted softness beckons me. The cool metal hook feels solid in my hand. I follow the string of yarn back to the place I left off. As I slip the hook into the loop, my thumb presses the raised letters declaring the size of the hook. Then muscle memory holds me captive.

Yarn over. Hook in. Yarn over. Pull through. Repeat.

My fingers move as if on their own and as they do, my mind is free to think and ponder and wonder.

I think back over the day’s events or a news notification or a snag in my novel or what I would do with Mrs. Weasley’s ability to wave a wand and have her kitchen clean itself or dinner make itself.

When quarantine hit us January 19 and we found ourselves home for 20 days (the foreseeable future in my mind), I happened across my stash of yarn as I cleaned out a closet. All it took to get my fingers to remember was the feel of those hooks while I held that ball wound with possibility.

In case you think I’m following some pattern. Think again. I simply chained a few stitches until it “seemed” like enough. Then I went back and forth across until my yarn was used up. Like any project I start, there are always some adjustments that have to be made in the middle. Once those are figured out, the whole thing continues along nicely – until of course, you run out of yarn. Thankfully Joann’s shipping is reasonable and quick!

Hence the picture above. I’m 5’10” and by now, my lap blanket thingy covers me from waist to feet as I crochet – and it’s super cozy and warm!

I know why the pioneer mamas had something to do as someone read aloud or played a fiddle. Brain Race (that’s what I call it) isn’t something unique to our time. Women have been listening to their minds race in circles after a crazy day far longer than we know.

Their worries were just a LOT different than ours. They were concerned that the gathering storm would wipe out their garden and their food stores for the coming year. I’m concerned about technology and the resultant effect on my children’s hearts and minds.

Many of those mamas found the secret in helping their minds unwind too. As they think and move their hands, they found their hearts calmed by the peace of the One who holds the storm bearing down on them. They pushed back their strands of hair as they wiped their eyes and felt a deep comfort.

I found it too. The unknown hasn’t changed. There is still a pandemic. My kids have to navigate school and technology. My teens push the boundaries harder than ever. I feel like I’m failing at everything.

And yet… as my fingers wind and twist and pull the yarn, I know the twists and turns and pulls of my own ball of yarn are held and known.

He holds me. My Abba.

My blanket has a lot of holes and messy strings poking out here and there but somehow it’s beautiful to Him.

So I offer my mess to Him. Trusting that I can’t fix it. But He can.

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