I love it when boy and I have a quiet day at home, being together happily doing our own thing. He regularly comes to tell me all about what he is up to and to check what I’m doing, in case it’s of any interest to him – like I’m baking a cake or something…
Today is a quiet day. I keep a hot water bottle against my back, as I sit and paint and sip on a cup of tea. While the watercolour paint is drying I knit a bit more of my fern shawl.
I currently have 4 projects on the go on the knitting front:
There is my usual Comfort Knitting – a pair of socks.
The Ambitious Knitting Project, for when I feel brave – Still Light is a top down tunic which I have left aside for now, as I made a mistake with my short rows and I need to carefully unravel some of it. I’m not knitting it in grey after all, but in a shade called “Ox Blood”, from my local biodynamic farm. I realised I had so many balls of these!
A Portable Long Term Project – as I’m knitting hexipuffs here and there – What the heck is that you may ask? See on the photograph below – for the making in progress of my Beekeeper’s Quilt .
As I knit a lot of socks I do indeed have plenty of leftover yarn and the Moonstruck Pup has ripped open enough dog toys for me to have a huge carrier bag full of toy stuffing.
And to satisfy my love for stranded colour work and chart reading, a *Fern Shawl*.
I was inspired to cast it on yesterday, during a walk in the woods. It was very sunny and the forest looked gorgeous.
Boy and I were very surprised to see that the forest is now covered in a green carpet that appeared, literally overnight – We were there two days ago and the floor was brown back then.
“Look mum! It looks like spring is just around the corner!” He enthused.
Yesterday the ground in the woods was covered with green vegetation, grass, new bulbs coming through and in places, new ferns too!
It made me feel really happy to see them…
I took these pictures with my phone as that’s all I had with me… but you still get to see all the green coming through the brown… and the beautiful sun light…
I love ferns. I have tried to paint them a lot, but never quite managed to render the beauty of their intricate leaves.
I have had the idea of making an attempt at designing a garment inspired by ferns many times… But then I came across this shawl and that’s pretty much what I had in mind. I don’t think I would have managed to do it any better :)
When he was smaller Boy got lost in jungles of high ferns quite a few times. He would shoot off ahead, running without realising that the ferns as they grew taller had transformed our familiar paths – He would take a wrong turn and end up in a maze of ferns, taller than him. He learned not to panic and to just call. Me or Tara (one of our dogs) would always come and find him!
Then he grew very fond of ferns as he started fern diving – one of Boy’s favourite activities in the summer. When the plants get quite high, he just dives in head first and disappears as he attempts to swim in them.
High ferns and climbing trees are a big part of his childhood. He is quite energetic and needs his daily dose of outdoor adventures. The dogs and I need it to.
Being, out and about in the woods, knitting or felting wool and watercolor painting are very much what makes me happy at this moment of my life.
It relaxes me, helps me clear my head and making things makes me feel useful.
I suffered from post-natal depression after having Boy and for years, I couldn’t quite shake it off. I would feel better, then it would come back again.
I would climb back up to the surface of the cliff and something – often in my own head – would make me slip and fall back down in the bottomless pit of sadness.
J.K. Rowling notoriously said that the dementors in Harry potter symbolised depression as she has suffered from the condition herself for a while – it’s a very accurate interpretation in my opinion. The way depression can suck up your mind and your whole being from the inside out is very much similar, I imagine, to a dementor’s kiss.
Knitting, painting, felting and walking in the forest were the key ingredients to my recovery. Of course, yoga too.
Yoga can be extremely useful, but it tends to be another thing that people do. Another thing to tick on a very busy to-do list.
In modern times, the relative position of the physical postures has been elevated, so as to lead people to believe that the word “Yoga” refers to physical postures or Asanas, and that the goal of these is physical fitness. Which is not true. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – the original instructions on yoga – there is only one posture mentioned, which is sitting down.
Yoga means union, oneness. The union of the mind, the body and the soul.
The physical postures were added in much later, to train warriors and to help yogis to be more flexible so they can sit in meditation for hours on end. It was just a preparation, along with cleansing techniques : a means towards a much greater goal, which is the practice of meditation. The real work.
We can make things to feel happier and at home within ourselves.
We can connect with our soul, practice mindfulness and centre ourselves through yoga and through the process of creation.
One’s soul can find solace and peace in the satisfaction of making things, trying to enjoy the process, without worrying too much about the end result.
It was so sunny yesterday. It has been raining today.
Just like the dementors of depression, the rain shall pass.
Perhaps, as the rain is necessary to the earth and for us to have a deeper appreciation for sunny days, depression is necessary too. It enables us to experience this darker part of ourselves and have a deeper appreciation for simple things that make us happy, like a sunny day in the woods!