I was just thinking about this need inside me.
Busy days are overfilled with demands of family and work and all the things that scream to be done. These everyday realities attempt to squelch this need. Yet it quietly ferments until it is ready to explode. So I settle the urgent, quieten the important and pull out paints, threads, wool or pen.
I need to create—to put something of myself and my creativity into the world.
Goodness knows it’s hard to find the time to create, but during soccer or hockey games, waiting my turn in a waiting room or when the TV blares on the odd evening I’m sat at home, my “tools” come out.
When my children were younger and not so involved in activities, my knitting needles were always at hand. “Mummy, please show me how to knit.” I’d smile at that innocent upturned face and recall many years earlier when my own childish voice ask my Mum. “Show me, I can do it”.
Poor Mum. I often wonder how she found enough time to knit us anything, let alone the parade of hats, mitts, sweaters and my dad’s sleeveless vests, when I was so determined.
Every time she sat down to knit I was at her elbow. I’m sure she redirected my energies many times. But what I remember is her patience as she pulled out some largish needles and an odd bit of wool. Quickly she put a few stitches on the needle. Then, slowly, she showed me how to knit.
“Needle under this stitch. See how the needles make an “X”? Now, put the wool around the back needle, pull it—but not too tight. Good! Now pull the needle through like this, and catch this stitch so it goes on the other needle. And look—you’re knitting!”
Mum made it look so easy. She was an expert knitter, having learned at her mum’s knee in England. She must have shown me how to knit at least a dozen times. To help me learn, or maybe to distract me(!), Mum bought a spool knitter for me—we called it “corking”—but it just wasn’t the same as the “real” knitting that Mum did.
I come back to the present and smile at my daughter. “Sure, Lisa, climb up here beside me while I find another pair of needles.”
This need we have to create shows itself at a young age. Finger-painting with mashed potatoes in the high-chair. Drawing on the wall. But why should we be surprised? We’re made in the image of God. The great Creator.
He created order out of chaos. Brought light to the darkness. Form to the void. He created marvellous things full of textures and colours and intricacies. He created everything from nothing.
So, we attempt to create. Out of bits of wool, thread, fabric, wood, canvas, paint, words, music and anything else our minds can imagine or our hands can find. We fulfill our need to create. Our children watch and imitate us. We teach them. They too satisfy that need. And it is good.
At least, that’s what I think.
Let’s journey together…