A Stitch in Time
I haven’t been needlepointing much lately. I’ve been pretty burned out after finishing my little one’s stocking three days before Christmas (and self-finishing, which was an experience!) But when I was sorting through some boxes in the basement, I stumbled across my mother’s needlepoint stash. I’d thought that it had been thrown out before it could be passed on to me, but apparently there was a box that was sent to me with some of her things that I had never opened–and there they were, an envelope full of half-finished canvases, and ones with canvases she hadn’t started. It was like finding her again, things that she had made and cherished and chosen. It was the best surprise.
One of the biggest regrets in my relationship with my mother is not learning to needlepoint from her. By the time I was interested in learning, in college, she no longer had the dexterity to needlepoint herself, but I should have bought a canvas and asked her to explain it. I should have taken that time to sit with her, just the two of us–no devices or TV on in the background, no other family members, and just sat with her and learned how to create something. I think back on all the time I have frittered away in my life–one of the reasons I’m trying to disconnect more from my phone–and think about the time I missed with someone so important to me. The knowledge she could have passed on. The hobby we could have shared.
Obviously I can’t change the past, but I do want to make that a goal for the future–don’t put something off. Turn off the phone, the TV. Take a moment. Be present. Anchor yourself to the present with something that you will remember, instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter for the billionth time.
I like writing this blog because I like to be able to look back and remember things, and I want to be able to do that with these posts, especially in such unprecedented times. It’s a reminder that things can be so terrible outside but inner life still ticks on. At the time I’m writing this, a few days before I’ve published it, the under-five COVID vaccine has finally been approved–what we’ve been waiting two and a half years for. That’s a huge relief. And I feel like finding these canvases of my mother’s is something personal I will remember–on a day when things seem like they might finally get back to a semblance of normal, I got to visit with my mother one last time.