Thursday, January 22, 2009

Knitting Hope and Dreams

It looked like my regular evening routine on Tuesday, Jan. 20. I was in flannel pajamas in my knitting chair working away.
But my ears were busier than my hands as I listened to the television (hard to watch TV and knit at the same time). On this night if it is possible to have your ears glued to the tube, mine were.

I was soaking up every word of any commentator talking about the inauguration of Barack Obama. Like so many in our country, indeed around the world, Tuesday was a banner day. And just as knitting calms me in times of trouble it also lifts me even higher in good times.

And this is an especially good time. Our new president offers hope in these times of chaos and trouble but not without hard work. He called this an new era of responsibility and we must all do our share to remake America in the image of our better selves.

At 57 years old, I guess I could say that I’m getting a little old to be on the front lines of change no matter how much I might hope for it. But as I watched him take his oath I knew that I would have to find a way of being useful; to deliver to our children and our children’s children a better country.

And so I continued to knit on a tiny sweater -- a first sweater for a grandchild who is scheduled to arrive in May. My first grandchild. A child born in an America that has an African-American president. Just think, this event, which took centuries to accomplish, will just be a matter of fact for her. It won’t seem like a dream come true; it will just be how things were when she was a baby.

And I knit away, stitch after stitch, putting in all my own hopes and dreams for her and her life. Will she have more open doors? Will she look like her mother, the beautiful Melissa? Will she call me grandma? Will she find a good place in the world to live her life? Will she work hard to make her own dreams come true?

Yarning over, knitting two together; knitting love and life itself into every stitch. Do you know your grandma loves you even now? Do you know your great-grandma loves you even now? Do you know that you will have the best grandfather in the world? Do you know that I have been saving knitting patterns for you since your mother was a little girl? When you wear this sweater will you feel my hands caressing your wee body?

All my love and knitting has nothing to do with the recent inaugural, I guess. But somehow I have woven the two together: hope, dreams, pride, excitement, a touch of fear of the unknown, love.

All I knew on Jan. 20 was that the country was changing in a good way and that in a few months my life will change in the best way.

I was close to tears all day and finally at day’s end, too tired to knit and listened-out, I put down my work, turned off the television and cried.

-- Lucia Herndon

4 comments:

Martha said...

Oh, Lucia.
What a post. (I was a fan of yours when you wrote for the Inky & how grateful I am still able to read you!)
Your words to your grand baby are loving, hopeful, so filled w/ life, so filled w/ hope & dreams.
What a lucky babe that someday she/he will gaze into your eyes & hear your voice whispering love & words of wisdom.
The beauty of Tuesday is so profound - we are all hopeful. Let's get to work.
XOXO

diana said...

3 Word: Best Post Ever.

YOU ROCK, LUCIA!!!!!

Mary Alice said...

So glad to be able to read Lucia Herndon again. I have missed your column and am so happy to be able to read it here. Your words will caress your grand baby as well as your knitting.

JamarP said...

I am so touched to have the privilege to read this post. Of course your new grand knows how much you love her already. I can't think of a luckier baby - to be born to your family and in this coming year.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world