women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I had a brief moment of panic last night, when I realized that it is just a little over a week until Christmas and:
  • I've yet to bake a cookie
  • I haven't got a tree in a bucket of water in the garage, let alone in the living room, decorated within an inch of its life, screaming, "Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart!"
  • I've barely scratched the surface of my Christmas list
  • I've sent no cards, wrapped no presents, knit no gifts
In other words, I'm W-A-A-A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y behind.

It is all too easy this time of year to lose sight of today in our frantic rush towards tomorrow. We wildly knit across our lives, then turn and hurriedly purl back, only to reach the end...

  • of our day
  • of our list
  • of our patience
  • of our energy
  • of our rope

Before we turn and start all over again, trusting that somehow, if we just keep going, the perfect Christmas will fall off our needles and into our lap.

But not me.

Not this time.

Not this Christmas.

Not this year.

Because, in giving to others, I have discovered the biggest gift of all.

And that gift is today.


Sometime in mid October, I was discouraged because I had lost my 25th subscriber on Bloglines. I wondered if this blog I was writing was worth my time, let alone my readers'.

If I had any.

I worried that in this overcrowded and sometimes overwhelming world, I wasn't making a dent.

Or even a hiccup.

So I did what I always do: sublimate and bury the doubts under a pile of snarky humor. And run a contest to see who could guess the day and time I would regain that magic number: 25. I promised 25 items to the winner, with really no idea what I would send. I just hadn't thought that far ahead.

And it took me all the way to Thanksgiving before I regained that twenty-fifth reader. To paraphrase Jimmy Durante, "Thank you Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."

Tiennie was my closest guesser. Now I had to decide what to send.

Now folks, I have enough stash to knit until I die and into the next generation. Sunflower Designs will never run out of yarn. Not in this lifetime.

I bear a burden of guilt for a period of gross over-consumption (especially of sock yarn - they are the potato chip of the yarn universe - betcha can't eat just one!) An idea began to form.

I sent her a knitter's advent calendar - one skein of sock or lace yarn a day - for twenty-five days. I won't bore you with all the details. You can just surf on over to Tiennie's doorstep and read all about it. I'll wait...

Dum-de-dum-dum- DUM-de-dum-de-dum-dum
(That's the final Jeopardy tune, in case you didn't recognize it.)

Oh, you're back?

Tiennie decided to pay it forward and give away some of her largess, with my blessing. I just came from Tiennie Knits and, let me tell you, the love that is building over there is awesome to behold.

I thought I would make someone smile.

I had no idea I would make so many someones smile.

Today I have been blessed to observe and participate in the greatest holiday miracle there is: the blooming of love in the human heart.

I have questioned in the past the ability of this thing we call the Internet to form true and lasting connections. No more.

I began this blog, as I approach all my writing: as ministry. If I'm going to write on a daily basis, I figure I might as well throw it out there for others to catch.

I've no idea where this ride I'm on will take me, but I have faith in the people I meet along the way and in the fitness, the balance, the perfection of my final resting place. "To turn, turn will be my delight. Till by turning, turning, I come round right."

I am not just touched. I am profoundly moved by the ripples moving through our community today.

Tomorrow can look after itself.

For today, there is love.


There is also eye candy, even if it's not Friday.

This is Arabian Nights laceweight from Kim over at the Woolen Rabbit, hot out of the yarn pot. She tells me it is a little more blue than the close up would indicate.

Mmmmmmmmmmm! McDreamy......


Miss Bea said...

Hi Susan!

I just wanted to hop over and tell you what an inspiring act of generosity I think your knitters Advent package was.

Knowing how precious our own yarn is to most of us, I would be very hard pressed to find 3 skeins I would be able to part with, nevermind 25! You just as easily could have sent Tiennie 25 stitch markers, but did not. Talk about holiday spirit!

Oh, and Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights? Stunning. I can't wait!

Olga said...

Yeah, I came over to tell you also what an awesome gift that was!!!! And how cool your blog is, I added it to my fav's so I could vist more often!

Anonymous said...

Ah, you're so sweet to wish me a happy birthday on my blog! Thank you so much! I'm adding you to Google Reader, not to worry. lol And you're ever so very generous to Tiennie! Thank you for her, too!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog via Tiennie's, and I want wanted to let you know how beautiful your writing is! You've got another blog subscriber!

Anonymous said...

Echoing what Miss Bea said, it was an inspiring act of generosity and selflessness. Thank you - I didn't have to receive the yarn to receive the gift of the heart.

textilejunkie said...

Totally inspiring and generous you are. I'm another new subscriber via Tiennie's blog, and I'm so happy to have found you :)

The Arabian Nights lace - oy - scrumptious.

Minty Fresh said...

What a great gift that you sent!

I wanted to let you know that I subscribe to your blog, but not through bloglines. :) Perhaps you have more fans out there than you know of.

Kim said...

What a kind and generous gift....

I so agree with everything you have written. I am trying very hard to slow my life down and be present in the moment. I'm not always successful, but I'm trying.

Beautiful post today!

Opal said...

I'm really not surprised at the advent calendar gift. I've always known you were an exceptionally generous person. :-)

That being said, I am in love with that Arabian Nights laceweight yarn. I can't wait to see what you do with it!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful gift! And oh that I had enough yarn to be able to spare some! But giving gift certificates from my LYS is one of my favourite gifts to give my knitter friends as it also allows them the thrill of shopping! Your gift to the contest winner however is both beautiful and inspiring!

As someone above mentioned, I don't subscribe to your blog, I visit it daily by bookmark; I agree that you definitely have many more fans out there than you realize, and even more that visit but don't comment. In other words, YOUR words touch people.

I am absolutely in LOVE with the Arabian Nights yarn......*deep sigh*.....just delicious!!

Pat K said...

Your ministry is wonderful, full of wisdom. Don't ever lose faith in yourself.

OzKnitter said...

The Arabian Nights yarn is a gorgeous colourway!

Don't worry too much about the number of Bloglines subscribers... there are folks like me who use other RSS readers (I use Google Reader) instead of Bloglines. Blog for yourself, you'll find the readers will come :o)

Ann said...

Your knitting advent gift is a real unique idea & it reflects your generosity. Now Tiennie is continuing this generosity - what a lovely world that we knitters live in. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to stop by and to say that I read your blog often but don't usually comment. Your words touch more people than you know.

tiennieknits said...

Thank you again and again and again!

Anonymous said...

Now we're blog friends as well as ravelry friends! I look forward to learning a lot from you!

mind if I link to you?

Carol said...

Yes, we live in ver busy times, but please don't ever stop you do make a difference! You did a great thing there, and many are happy cause of you.

Lucia said...

Aw, gee, you just had to show me more purple yarn, didn't you?