For most of my young life, I lived in transition. As the child of ministers, I moved as often as the spirit moved the church to move us which ended up meaning that we moved five times in thirteen years.
I learned a lot during that time about not getting attached, resisting rooting in a place, always making friends with the thought that I wouldn’t be around for long. Deep connections weren’t advisable since I never knew when I would be lifted out of that life and plunked down somewhere new.
Finally, during my thirty-third year, my wyfe and I purchased a house and settled down. While we didn’t do much painting walls or remodeling, we transformed that house into a home.
We lived in that home for thirteen years, building our community, making friends, living life in a beautiful place that we loved. I allowed myself to buy hardback books, to grow a large closet-sized stash, to grow heavy and root myself in the ground.
And now, we have left that space.
As I rip out the roots from my old life, the tears continue to flow. I sobbed my way out of the lovely Yampa Valley, swiping my arm across my face so that I didn’t crash the car.
With the experience of leaving again and again in childhood, I know that, sooner than I can believe, the absence will grow easier. Laughter will take the place of the tears, and as my friends and I continue our journeys in different parts of the country, we’ll contact each other and visit. Those visits and emails and letters and social media posts will be filled with tales of adventures, funny things that happened, stories of people we know.
This shawl represents that journey from tears to laughter. Simple garter stitch striping knits up easily, and with the generous size, we’ll all be in the laughter phase by the time the shawl is finished.
I created this piece especially for my partners at Sew Steamboat. They inspired me with their support, love, creativity, strength, and laughter. Their encouragement and dedication have shown me that anything is possible – even if we have distance between us.
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