Life as a piece of string

Way back in the days when I was attempting breastfeeding with premie Eric a wise soul from Nursing Mothers (now known as the Australian Breastfeeding Association) told me to look at my life as a long piece of string and then imagine what time my son’s babyhood would take up on that hopefully long piece of string.  It was a good metaphor for life and one I’ve thought of frequently since then and quite often in recent days.  You see, I’ve been knitting with one of my Christmas presents from Threads and More.  I say one because I’ve still got a discount voucher and a gift voucher to use there – squeeeeee! It is (or was) a wonderball with an explanation attached as follows:

“Different yarns of many colours and lengths are manually tied together to create a surprise yarn ball of wool blends, textures, small amounts of cotton, and surprises. Popular in the 1800’s, the wonder ball was given as a gift at Christmas. As the person knit, and used up lines of yarn, small gifts inside the ball would surface. The knitter could not fast forward to see what the next trinket, surprise or yarn would be. The ball of yarn embodied the spirit of giving, as the gift continued to reveal presents, and the knitter produced a lasting gift or either a scarf or wrap.”

The wonder ball pictured isn’t mine but it shows a bit of what mine looked like before I knitted it up.  Following Lynda’s instructions to cast on 200 stitches and just keep going, I’ve made a peacock coloured wrap in the course of about 4 days.  As I got near the end of the project it occurred to me that the wonder ball was like that “piece of string” that could be thought of as life.  It started out in a near perfect shape with only glimpses of what might be ahead.  It was just like a baby – really cute with only vague ideas of what the future might hold for them.  At times the yarn was smooth and of a regular size so the kitting went along very efficiently and easily – just like the times when life is going well.  Then there were treacherous times with narrow yarn and ribbony bits sticking out at odd intervals.  It was tempting to get rid of these bits of yarn that were hard to deal with and took a long time to knit but I followed Lynda’s instructions and just kept on going.  It was just like times when we meet difficulties in life – it is hard to keep going, it takes a lot of hard work to get through it but then you can look back at it as being part of life’s rich tapestry.  For example, the many dramas surrounding the pregnancy and birth of Eric were really hard to take at the time but we wouldn’t swap it for anything because we truly have the most wonderful boy now. There were shiny yarns that looked beautiful but twisted easily causing unforeseen problems just like something or someone who looks good but causes problems and there was some beautifully rainbow -like feathery yarn that could hardly be seen but added a wonderful texture to part of the finished product.  That yarn reminded me of where life is at the moment.  I’m stretching in all sorts of directions working out what to do next in my life.  I don’t know the exact way ahead or how things will pan out but I’m trusting in God’s plan for me and that things will turn out for the best.  When I look back at this part of my life I will still see the uncertainty but it will all just be a short part in that long piece of string.  I ran out of yarn before I finished off the last casting off and had to substitute a small piece from my own stash – who knows? maybe I’m in for a second lease of life at some stage?

So I’m left with a beautiful garment which is all knitted together and all the parts work together to make the whole.

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2 Comments on “Life as a piece of string”

  1. isildael says:

    Such a beautiful post and wonderful timing for me to read. I’ve been getting very frustrated about toilet training issues but now I am going to think of them as a very short piece of a long piece of string.
    I love the wonderball idea – it would make a great piece of wall art. Unfortunately I cleared out my stash at the end of last year so I can’t make a wonderball but whenever I start a new project I make a sample square for guage. I now have a bunch of squares that I plan to sew together to make a special blanket.

  2. anissa says:

    Teresa, what a perfect post you have written, life IS definitely like a wonderball… well at the moment WONDERBALLS ARE MY LIFE!!!!! (in more ways than one)!!!!!


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