The change of seasons is slowly approaching here in Minnesota.
Night is slowly becoming dominant again - sunset happens closer to seven o'clock than to nine, as it did just a few weeks ago. And those nights are sharply cooler of late: temps in the 60s and low 70s are appearing with regularity.
I'm feeling nostalgic for the summer, though I'm not entirely sure why. I haven't had a lazy, easy summer since I was 17, just before I began college. My school
started late, so all of my friends were gone and I was a bit at loose ends. Everyday that I had to wait was an agony: I longed to get out
: out of town, out of childhood, out of the life which no longer suited me.
I was desperate, anxiously searching for the woman I would become.
Some fifteen years later, I look back on that period with amusement, and a good deal of longing. Often, I wish for exactly the sort of loosely structured days that I had then. I would fill them with listening to music and learning to create art and making my own stock and clarifying consomme and making proper crepes and learning to chop efficiently and baking from scratch and creating perfect order in my home and and and...
and of course, knitting. Always, always, knitting.
I spent much of that lazy summer knitting. I read everything I could get my hands on about knitting, and spent every dime I made at my first yarn shop
. I loved that place and spent every second I could in there. It's where I learned to tell fibers apart by feel (and very nearly just by looking), where I bought yarn for my first sweater (made with a hot pink & black nubbly yarn -- oh, the 80s -- that nearly killed me in the knitting) and where I discovered the yarns that are my favorites
to this day. I still visit whenever I can. Even now, having experienced all sorts of shops and knitting expos, this place still has a hold on my heart. All these years later, it is the same experience: my heart lifts as I enter the door, my eyes are dazzled by the gorgeous array of colors, and my hands start to itch in anticpation of touching all the gorgeous yarns they offer.
There is no shortage of lovely yarn and shops in my adopted hometown, and even if there were, catalogs and the Internet could easily satisfy my yarn needs. So i've no logical need to return again and again. But I do. Like a homing pigeon that needs to return to its nest, I keep coming back.
I go back because it connects me with the girl I once was. A girl, nervous and uncertain about her future, but desperately rushing forward to claim it. Who took with her into that future an incredible curiosity and a need to create -- both of which have followed me throughout the seasons of my life.
As this new season creeps in, subtly charging the air with anticipation and reminding me of my summer of desire, I feel a need to honor that summer. To make space in my life for creativity. To make room for the woman to once again be a girl, willing be a student, to not know the answers, but ready to find them.