Thursday, May 3, 2018


The letter “Z” is always a tough one in the A to Z Blogging Challenge line-up. I thought I had found an easy solution to it in my knitting theme of the same by simply looking for a brand or kind of yarn that began with that letter and see what I could come up with from there. I figured the post would at least be mercifully short, a plus for readers and writers alike this late in the challenge. Instead, what I discovered surprised me so much that when I finally got around to writing the last post a full year later, I was still as amazed by the discovery as I was the day it first popped up on my web browser.

“Zealana” was the only entry to pop up for the last letter of the alphabet when I did my google search. Intrigued, I looked it up and found to my amazement that it is a brand of yarn made in New Zealand that is blended from possum hair.

Possom hair?! I was sure I couldn't have read it right, or had somehow misunderstood. How could a beautiful knitting yarn be made from the ugly nighttime scavenger that we see running across our lawns at nightfall, or more usually lying dead along the roadside? The thought boggled my mind.

Common Brushtail Possum
I read on and discovered that the Common Brushtail Possum in New Zealand looks somewhat different from the Virginia Possum that we see across the United States. It is a non-native species that was introduced into New Zealand in 1837 and quickly multiplied due to a lack of natural predators and a congenial climate. Soon the population became so great that it began to have a negative impact on the native vegetation and animal species. At some point it was discovered that possum fibre had exceptional qualities that made it a desirable component in knitting yarn – it is lightweight, warm, soft, and durable. The Zealana brand offers three different series, each of which offers something unique to a particular knitting project, aside from the animal from which it comes. The selection of a possum fibre yarn therefore not only benefits the knitting project, but the ecosystem of a beautiful land, as well. Who knew?!

I couldn't help but smile at the surprising turn of events in the writing of this post, and marvel at how similar things happen in our spiritual lives all the time. So often we head in one direction with a particular purpose in mind, and find something completely unexpected in our travels. At some point we realize that it was not our agenda that moved us in that direction, but rather God, who had something He particularly wanted us to discover, and knew that the path we were taking was the one that would lead us to it eventually. Usually the issue at hand is something more important than the use of possum hair in knitting yarn, but the end result is often just as unexpected and new. And perhaps I needed the reminder that the inner beauty of an item is often not showcased in its outward appearance; we need to look deeper than what is seen with the human eye. I'm thankful somebody at Zealana did that and developed a yarn that is not just pretty to look at, but soft to the touch and durable enough to offer lasting joy.

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen...”
(II Corinthians 4:18 NKJV)

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