Moisés took his first walk in the snow this morning. It was slightly before dawn, still almost dark, but the light was lifting. Perhaps I am not the only one settling in to myself. Perhaps Moisés is just experiencing a mid-life crisis. He is nine, and hasn't really been outside since he was a small kitten; he's never shown interest, and the two occasions he did find himself outside he was terrified. Perhaps he just wants to see what is so exciting to Tikka? I'll never know his reasons, and I was not sanguine about letting him out but he was determined. Now he and Tikka go out in the morning for a brief wander before breakfast. Tikka romps, oblivious to the snow; Moisés picks up his foot after each step and looks at it with unsettled disgust. Still he explores a little further before following Tikka inside for the joys of the breakfast bowl, Tikka dancing and spinning in eager circles, M with a dignified stroll and a brief swaying to one side, just enough to brush against my ankles.
We seem to have all settled into this place. I still worry that M will wander away; will get hit by a car, or hurt by another animal. But I suppose I have to let him be himself. Tikka is usually content to stay here in her own space, our yard, and she is far happier with this yard than she was with the condo. I don't know why unless it is just that I worry less. I do worry, I worry that she will run off after another dog when she sees one walk by -- the opportunity to be social outweighs the risks of the invisible fence every time. Often I don't worry about the collar, she is not inclined to wander anyway unless tempted, and the temptation is too great, collar or no. She generally only wants to be out if I am out anyway, where we can keep an eye on each other. Both beasts are homebodies, happy in their space. Like their mom.
I've been knitting. I've been sleeping late as well. Knitting and sleeping. I think there is a connection here. I never wanted to be a person who woke up hours before dawn, a person who went to bed in the middle of the evening either, although I've been a lark most of my life, a person who bounds awake with joy. This is a project I started in December, didn't like, ripped apart and restarted this past week. Perhaps I simply needed to knit that shrug first, to get my knitting muscles back in gear, to rekindle the spark. I've been dreaming of yarn and cloth and fiber and thread, dreaming up projects, recording ideas, but the actual act of creation eluded me. I would pick something up and put it down again, overwhelmed with weariness.
Perhaps I was just committed to too many things that were not truly what made me happy, that were against where my own nature wants me to go. I really want to do nothing but take meanderingly slow walks, bury myself in thread and fabric and yarn, play, cook, eat, share. And yet I never quite managed it. I was always distracted by too many things that needed to be done. I was bound by not enough time when what I really needed was to escape time altogether.
When I pick up my needles and knit, I escape time. I sit and knit late into the evening. The hours disappear. It seems I was not knitting because I was disconnected from something essential, essential to me at least. Perhaps I was letting who I was dictate who I should be. That isn't it exactly. I was letting my past dictate who I should be, letting the world dictate who I should be. What I did was never who I was. My mistake was in thinking that it should be. Who I was is integral to who I am, but it is only a past me, a part of me, and not who I have become. Even though I don't wish to be that person anymore, I have struggled with letting go, with saying "yes, you are right, I could solve that problem for you, but no I will not, I can not, because to do so denies who I am at my very core". I need to be here, to play with yarn, to embrace silence, but also to share, to share my gifts as they are, not as they are expected to be, to accept that as busy and distracting as the world may be, in its very essence it is completely here, in every moment, in every small vortex of space.
There has been a cardinal in the tree outside my office window every morning this week. Every morning except this morning. The photo is from a couple of days ago, from before the snow. The light is muted by the storm window. I don't like storm windows, or screens. They mute the light, deaden the play of light in the house, deaden the face of the house from the street. And yet the screens remind me now of how many veils and walls we build. The snow will pass. This cardinal will go and another will come. There is no rush.