A Sweater Song

Today, I accidentally unearthed a treasure.

I should’ve been folding laundry or decluttering the counters, but the moment I opened the door to our cavernous coat closet, I couldn’t help it.

I got right to work.

Ask my five year old, and she’ll tell you what I unearthed was her well-loved Lambie, long-since lost to who knows where, found behind the stacks of boxes that have lived in our coat closet for months. Almost as many months, likely, since we packed up and moved out of the first floor of our home early this year, for the second year in a row.

Ask my husband, and he’ll tell you what I unearthed was space. Oh, the space! The boxes, emptied and gone. The stacks of our beloved board games finally removed from those cardboard cages and put out on shelves, jackets we’d forgotten now stretching their limbs on hangers, and… oh, the space! He doesn’t yet know it, but I’ll have made his whole week when he sees it.

Ask me… ask me, and I will tell you this.

More than a year ago, my grandfather and his wife came to visit, bringing along with them some of my Grammie’s belongings. These were all things they thought I might enjoy, as I shared her love for history and crafting, and they were right. Three space-saver bags full of whole dye-lots of high quality yarn and a briefcase full of knitting needles were among the goods, and I was in awe. I could see her in all the colorways, hands holding those needles like two conductor’s batons, threading together a new song, each and every time she sat down to work.

I took them with gratitude, and yet there, in those months that came ahead, they got packed and hidden away just like everything else that goes in the coat closet. Everything that goes in with the hope of someday being found again. But it wasn’t just the yarn, alone, I found. As I emptied box after box, inching further and further into the cavern, making my way to those bags… something inside of one of them caught my eye.

I could just faintly make out the color and the oh-so careful stitching. I held my breath as I scrambled to get back there, tripping over the last box of board games while my hands clumsily pried apart the plastic bag, letting out its own breath, held for far too long. I reached deep into the chaos of string, and what I found was this. There in a sea of individual skeins, was a song.

On the coldest day I can recall so far, in one of the more difficult seasons of my life as a creative, this is everything. It is a call to warmth, a call to patience, a call to the beauty in His timing.

I don’t know when she made it. I don’t know who she made it for. But I can’t help but believe He knew, it would find its way to me exactly when I needed it.

The stitching, as impeccable as anything she ever created – so varied, so textured.
The color, as perfectly blue and wonderfully gray as my favorite stormy skies and oceans.
The questions, so many that linger as I wonder about the woman who made this work of art.
The answers, so poignantly pointing to all my many thoughts about legacy, about love, about living purpose.

A treasure, indeed.
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