Life happens, and there are seasons when it demands attention. We have all experienced them. Parents age. Children struggle. Friends face crises. Sometimes it’s joyful distractions: weddings, graduations, new jobs, new children–or grandchildren. All these pull at our energies and keep us away from the work of our hands.
In the past, physicians recognized the healing properties of working with the hands. There are images of hospital patients, adults and children alike, weaving at looms, making baskets, painting. Occupational Therapy is only one of many fields in which arts and crafts are used to soothe. Who among us hasn’t found peace in the gentle rhythm of the shuttle or knitting needles?
The past several months have been full of distractions, and yet whenever I sat down at the loom again, it felt so good, so peaceful to throw the shuttle, listen to the gentle thump of the beater, to watch the pattern grown at the fell. And while I was away from the loom, knitting brought some peace at the end of the day. Each row, each stitch, helped unknot the tensions.
Just this past week, I finished a warp that had been on my loom since September. It’s rare for a warp to take that long, but how gratifying to throw the final shot and cut the web! How satisfying to see the yards of damask unfold!
There are other warps that have been languishing as well. I’m looking forward to continuing some linen towels that have been patiently waiting on the Baby Wolf! And then there’s “Junior” waiting to have the shafts properly balanced for the opphämta weave I’ve been wanting to try.
And all of these are my therapy, soothing my mind and soul. Whenever life winds itself up tight, it’s good to pick up the shuttle again and re-center.
What do you do to calm your spirit?