Friday, April 14, 2017

Falling LEAVES

Maybe it's because of my forester background that I've always had a love affair with leaves. So it should have come as no surprise the year I first got back into knitting that I fell in love with a simple leaf pattern I found while scrolling through Pinterest one day. What was a surprise was the simplicity of the pattern; it was something even I could handle while refurbishing my knitting skills. And yet it contained some techniques that, while new to me, were easily mastered and added to my knitting repertoire.

As a result of the above, I went a little overboard in my creation of the same. I began to wonder if we would soon have enough fall leaves scattered around the house to gather in piles, jump in, or (heaven forbid!) burn in bonfires! I made just about that many. They were simply irresistible to me! A quick knit, they satisfied a creative need in my life and helped me to celebrate the fall season while it was still in full swing. Each leaf didn't take require yarn, but of course I had to have them in an abundance of fall colors. If I hadn't been away from the hobby for years upon years, this would have been the perfect project to use up leftover yarn from previous projects. But I was new again to the joys of knitting and so I had to replenish my supply; replenish I did, coming out of the yarn shop with my arms filled with enough skeins of yarn to knit an army of afghans instead of a bucket of leaves. At least gift-giving became easy; anyone with a fall birthday received a fall-themed coffee mug, some hot chocolate or spiced cider mix, and a bundle of brightly colored knitted leaf coasters on which to set their drink! It was a three-month stretch I remember now with much joy.

Maybe the leaves meant so much to me because they reminded me of a message I received long ago that really touched my heart. For some reason I went through a season of silence in my ability to hear from God, and when you are an inspirational writer, there is no greater disaster than to be cut off from your source of inspiration and ideas. The effect on my writing was merely a spin-off of the void I felt in my personal spiritual life; it was as if I had lost my Best Friend. I knew He was there, and I knew He wasn't angry with me; I just didn't understand why He seemed to have nothing to say to me anymore. I sat on my deck one fall day at the very end of that summer, a mug of coffee in hand, feeling pretty desolate in my spirit over the a situation I could do little to alter. And suddenly there He was with me, pointing out the leaves falling from the trees in the nearby woods, comforting me with the promise that the things He still had to say to me were more numerous than all the leaves on the trees! And shortly after that experience they did indeed start falling into my spirit once more. The months before had taught me to gather, meditate and treasure each one; I don't take them for granted anymore. Perhaps that was the point.

Similarly, when the fall months ended last year and I'd knit all the leaves I could possibly make before the season changed, I was sorry to see the experience come to an end. So it was a special joy to dig deeper into Pinterest and find that there were leaf patterns in abundance, differing in shape and difficulty level...seasons yet of knitting delight ahead of me! There was no shortage of “thanksgiving” for me at the end of that fall!

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
(Psalms 139:17 NKJV)

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