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December 11, 2013 by vh1161

hands_crocheting1Miss Frizzle’s more mellow sister is perhaps how I would peg the woman with curly strawberry-blond hair and a jolly round nose.  She got on the train at Greenbelt wrapped in a robin’s egg blue pea coat and a knit scarf with brown, blue, yellow, and orange hues competing for dominance.  She sat down, pulled a bundle of yarn out of her bag, and began crocheting.  Her engagement and wedding rings sparkled as her fingers flew back and forth, back and forth.

Her name is Margo. She is 38 and comfortable with that.  Despite her slight cold, she feels wonderful today.  It’s the two-year anniversary of a car accident that she almost didn’t survive. One of her tires blew out on the Beltway during the morning rush, and instantly she became the reason for so many late arrivals and clogged “alternate routes” in the DC metropolitan region that day.

Margo spent weeks in recovery.  Doctors frowned, nurses whispered, her husband learned to pray.  Brain specialists pondered.  Friends lit candles and helped her husband pray.  The doctor could hardly believe his own words the day he told her she could go home.

Months of physical and occupational therapy followed.  One day after a particularly challenging therapy session, Margo’s mom offered to teach her crocheting as a way to unwind while still exercising fine motor skills.  Margo was game; up until then her “unwinding” routine had consisted of watching “The Waltons” reruns with cheap chardonnay and a box of Triscuits.  Learning a new skill and bonding with her mom might be a better use of her thirties (Her husband tried not to be too obvious in his agreement).

Her first stitches were clumsy, uneven, like a web spun by a peg-legged spider.  But there was something addictive to this activity; it was giving her, for the first time, the experience of transforming one thing into something completely different using her two hands.  Margo had never thought of herself as the type who makes things, but now she couldn’t get enough of it.  The feeling pushed away all the echoes of the wreck that nearly robbed her of any ability to shape the world.  The caps, scarves, afghans she makes and gives away are more than superfluous crafts produced in an idle hour.  They are her proclamation of beautiful order in the face of the world’s chaos.

It takes some of us longer than others to discover that we are creators…but perhaps, the more delayed the discovery, the more profound the joy?


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