Monday, July 24, 2006

Teach me the next part!

My niece, Kaiti, is here at the farm for a two-week visit. She's eight and in love with most aspects of country life, which in her view is very different from life in her suburban neighborhood. Her excitement is catching. My mundane daily routine seems exotic to this child, and her curiosity shines a light on every little thing I've come to take for granted.

One of those things is knitting. Kaiti wants to learn, so yesterday I showed her how to cast on. Today, we've a long list of plans. Morning chores, grooming the angora rabbits, a hike to the back pasture to admire the wildflowers, then into the woods to the thicket where the deer bed down. A moment ago, she stepped into my office, her expression earnest, eyes sparking with excitement.

"When we get back from hiking, can you teach me the next part in knitting?" she asked. I wore a big grin when I added that to the list, and I thought how this ties into the thoughts my fellow bloggers have expressed here in the past few days. The heady days of ignorance when we begin, the joy, the willingness to embrace risk . . . sometimes my cautious adult side remains too much in control and crushes the joy with all those sensible reminders about what could happen, what did happen last time or the time before, and how I really can't spare the time to . . . whatever. And what if it doesn't work out?

Kaiti doesn't care. She's eight, and she understands that mistakes are just a part of learning, and there's no mistake in knitting that can't be undone. There's no such thing as lost or wasted time, either, because it's all practice. She's learning and finding such joy in the learning. I think she's setting a great example for me.



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