Monday, March 19, 2012

New things

Spring has sprung, and there are new things all over the place around here.  Last Wednesday, Tilly and I went for a walk at one of our local spots.  It's not a huge wilderness; in fact, it's what I might call an urban wilderness, if I lived in the urbs.  But I live in the 'burbs, and maybe I should therefore call it a 'burban wilderness?
You can see there on the horizon - houses.  And there are power lines, and more houses.  But it's a place with its own wholeness, its own integrity.  I have seen blue herons there, and coyotes, and there's a kestrel pair every spring, and I even saw a black-faced weasel there once. 
It has a hill to climb (from which I can see the ocean).
And a body of water to attract coots and ducks and herons.  (I hesitate to call it a lake - because to anyone outside California, it is not - but it feels a bit big to call it a pond in California, even though if I were from Michigan, I'm pretty sure it would be a pond.)

But most importantly, it changes with the changing of the seasons.  And I can get my feet on the dirt, and see those little intimate changes that mean that the year is turning.
Those are purple wild sweet peas there, with the lemonade berries, a mixing of winter and spring that makes me happy.  The monkeyflowers are out, too.
And the willows are starting to leaf out.
I love going on this walk, week after week, year after year, watching the small changes.  It reminds me of some of the essays in The Wild Places, one of the most beautiful books I've ever read (and I say that as a person who doesn't like beautiful books just because the writer can turn a phrase; they also need to say something).  Macfarlane goes looking for the untouched places of Britain, only to find that the most remote places he can get to show the unmistakable marks of the millenia of human habitation of that small island (which in itself I find awesome - in the original meaning of the word); but instead of despairing of ever finding his wild places, he instead describes in loving terms that feeling of deep connection that comes from having one's own small place to be in, season in and season out, as the years turn, whether it's a backcountry preserve, or something like my small 'burban wilderness.
As I walk, I find myself composing little internal paeans to what I could perhaps call grace (I will not subject you to them, I promise); little hymns to that feeling of weighty warmth that is thankfulness - not the weight of burden, but the weight of a supportive hand on the shoulder, or a heavy comforter on a cold night.  And last Wednesday, my little internal songs of praise were for the durability of fragile things.  They go, but they do come back - they really do.

And sometimes they come back brand-new.  Like this little fragile thing - long may she endure.
Isn't she stunning?  I haven't met her yet, but she's our cousin's new baby, and I bet she, too, is a weighty warmth in her parents' arms.  I knitted her a blanket (which is really a much prettier dusty rose color than it looks here, I promise):
But all of those stitches, even the 1200-stitch cast-off row (it had to have ruffles, didn't it?)
can't even come close to encompassing the love I feel for that little girl and her parents and big brother.
I tried, though - in that way that knitters do.  And I even finished it (more or less) in time (I knitted madly for seven days) to be waiting for her at home when she got back from the hospital (thank goodness she was willing to be a little late)(even though I'm pretty darned sure - speaking from experience - that her mother wasn't feeling thankful for her lateness at all, at all - that's a whole different kind of weightiness! and waityness, come to think of it).

I'm a day or so early, but I guess this is all by way of saying, Happy Equinox, everyone - spring is here at last.


Jane said...

What a lovely blanket, a stunning shape, and the ruffle! Reminds me when I was having my first. My mum was sitting at home, desperately knitting away to get his shawl finished. As you can imagine, the stress of knowing I was in labour, wasn't helping in getting the pattern right for that last corner. It made it all the more special

lori said...

oh, what a lovely lovely post. It's imbued with the quiet gratitude you were talking about. And while I was reading it, I thought about the pleasure of naming things -- not just "flowers" but monkeyflowers, and purple wild sweet peas.

And what a beautiful baby, and what a wonderful time she came, the perfect time. And what joy, to wrap her up in all those soft stitches. Lucky baby, lucky y'all. xoL

Brandi Schoch said...

Babies are always the thing to get you in the knitting mood. Your spring pics are lovely and nice to see as it hasn't quite sprung here yet.

Nana Sadie said...

What a pretty little thing she is! Welcome new one!!!

And your knitting is fine, lovely, and will be greatly loved.

I'm not familiar with the book you mention so I must check that out.
Happy Spring!

Mary Lou said...

Sounds like a book worth looking for - I hope spring brings more comfort and grace your way.

staci said...

A beautiful blanket for a beautiful baby! I'm sure the parents love your handmade treasure!

Gwen said...

She's lovely!

I am so thankful that we don't live isolated in our urbs and burbs. The rest of the world is right here with us, despite us. I love driving up 73rd Ave in East Oakland, and seeing an egret on a light pole, above the concreted creek running briefly along the middle of the road.

twinsetellen said...

Oh, happy equinox, happy birthday!

Suddenly the grass is green here, our own signs of spring, but none so precious as this babe. You have had a long winter. I'm so glad you have this sweet one's arrival to mark the beginning of spring.

Your blanket is beautiful, as is your post.

RobinH said...

Aw! Cute. Although she doesn't look entirely sure about this big bright noisy world yet. :)

Beautiful photos. And I had to wonder if you've read John McPhee, speaking of writers who have something to say and can also turn a phrase.

EGunn said...

Yay for spring! That sense of walking through changing seasons is one of the biggest reasons that I miss my bus commute (and really need a dog if I don't get back on public transport soon). If I don't have somewhere to be going, I don't remember to get outside every day just to be, but it is so important to my sense of wellbeing and of time!

That is an adorable little niece you have. I'm sure she'll love her new blanket!

Jamie said...

Stunning blanket! WOW.

Rachael said...

Lovely blanket for a lovely girl!

I have some spring pics of my own in the queue to post, it's bursting out all over! Now to just find the time...

Kim said...

Having just held my newborn niece for 5 days of the past week, I know you are soon in for a treat. Congratulations!!
And BTW, you live in exurbia, not suburbia ;)