I like Christmas. I like Christmas because it’s about new things, a new baby savior, new stuff wrapped in paper and tied up in a bow, new books, new jewelry, etc. I was thinking about that over the last few days because I’ve been working on this spiral scarf I had started several years ago but had set it aside because it was taking too long. I was going through my grandma’s old sewing cabinet a few months ago and I found the scarf, liked the colors and started working on it again. I had lost the instructions, so I had to wing it…with the help of a friend who looked at it and said, I bet you can figure out how you did this. She was right! I did figure it out!
At least enough to keep doing what I had been doing so far. But I didn’t like how tight the spirals were. At the rate I was going, I was sure that I’d use up all my yarn without making anything long enough to even come close to wrapping around my neck. So, I altered the scarf to shorten the spirals and create a longer distance between each spiral. I wanted to end up with an actual scarf and not just a stack of closely knit kitchen rags….this was ok, I thought. It looked a little sloppy, but I could dig it! And then I ran out of yarn. The yarn is a pretty swirl of blue, green and purple. Surely, I should be able to find more like it…it’s so pretty! After scouring the endless shelves of yarn at my local JoAnn Fabrics, I found one yarn with a very similar blue and green color but without the purple. Ok, how do I fix this? I bought a skein of purple yarn to use at the end. That will look cool, right?
Yesterday, I was ready to pull the whole darn thing out and start over. This looks dumb! I thought. It looks like a mistake. Was this a mistake? It would be easier just to pull it all apart, start over, start something new. Right?
That brought me back to my thoughts on new things. This is why I like getting new things and I don’t like finishing things I’ve already started. I have to decide…do I unravel it all? Do I continue what I started? Do I stick it back into the sewing cabinet to pull out months or years in the future only to have to decide then what to do? How is this like my relationships? Do I continue the relationship with the person I’ve known for years…but we are both changing in different ways, aren’t we? Are we starting to get so mis-matched, like the yarn I bought to finish my project? Or can I be patient and trust the process, so that the relationship will evolve into something new and different? Will I be glad that I didn’t yank it all out and start over? Will I be glad I stuck with it?
I recently saw a documentary about Walt Disney’s life. Did you know that after creating Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, he got distracted from his animated movies and became very interested in trains? They were half-scale or quarter-scale trains. He would create tracks around his property and ride his toy trains all day. It was all he wanted to do. He didn’t have a grand idea of why he was doing this, he just did it. His wife questioned what he was up to, neighbors noticed, but he kept doing it because that is what he was called to do. Eventually his ideas started evolving and they turned into the idea of bringing his movies to life so children could interact with the characters….his ideas evolved into what we know today as Disneyland and Disneyworld, complete with a train that will take you around the whole property!
I really like that story. It reminds me that I can be working on something without any idea of why I am doing it. And there’s no reason for me to stop. I can continue working on the scarf with it’s funny shape and colors or I can rip it all out and start over or I can set it aside to mull it over and come back to it with a new perspective. I can even post a blog post about it because I feel compelled to, not knowing what purpose it will serve or why I am doing but just trusting that pull from my solar plexus and that ache in my heart is trying to tell me something.
Ok, so what does this have to do with Christmas and new things? Maybe they are all connected. Christmas is about the darkest season of the year and something new and wonderful arising out of the moment of our darkest experience. There’s a certain amount of trust that the wise men and Joseph and Mary had to have to trust the guidance they were getting that this child really was the son of God. Joseph was betrothed to a pregnant woman who wasn’t pregnant with his own son, the wise men had heard that this son of God would be born but how could this child sleeping in a stable meant for livestock be this baby king? I think it’s a matter of trust and knowing that I can start over and begin anew or I can continue something I’ve started. Either way I am going on faith. That’s what I want to practice doing more of trusting my spiritual guides, trusting God and knowing that there isn’t a right or wrong way, but the best way is if I learn to trust myself.