THIS year, I got the opportunity to be part of our town’s art festival. Not like a big artist or something, more like an unnoticed person making a small difference in the aecstatic value of the town we live in.
I got the opportunity to give a tree a make-over. Trees are so much easier to please than people. They never talk back, and don’t mind which colour would suit their bark the best.
I was told that I could do granny squares, circles, or plain rows… Plain? Not me!
I can’t do the ordinary. Me nor my journey is ordinary. And I swept the the words of my assignment out of my head. I am a special needs parent. I can’t afford boundaries. My only boun-dary is my time.
I started out excited and enthusiastic, mixing, matching colours, planning patterns. Going to my tree, staring at it, observing each bend and mark on my canvas, an old tree.
And then life happened… For the special needs journey is a runaway roller-coaster ride. And I gave up. For the first time in my life. I gave up.
I packed away my crochet needle and my colours made from wool. And I decided to take care of the things in my life that matters. My children, my home, opportunities I have in life that makes sense! For dressing a tree, is not a task that is sensible or able to make a significant difference in one’s life.
Life went on. But the struggle in my mind of me giving up on something screamed at me every minute of each day that my tree wasn’t being looked after. The basket full of wool was sta-ring at me. I don’t give up; not even on an old tree with no voice or will…
And so after three days of giving up, the deadline for the glamorous dressing event hours away… I picked up my wool. And my needle started working.
I turned into a night owl for two long days. The struggle was real, and I allowed myself to sleep only a few hours.
Going to bed late, getting up before the very earliest bird… Letting my heart move the needle.
The minutes before I had to leave felt like a marathon crochet session. My fingers ached. My children went wild, the cat hi-jacked the wool, and the dog felt that this is a good time to seek love and attention…
But I had to finish the last few stitches, I had to finish a journey I started – no matter what. Because I don’t give up.
My fingers hurting… Feelings of guilt, of neglecting other parts of my life… I went to my tree… And I dressed it.
I felt proud as I experienced that my plan is working out, feeling joy as I felt the bark and wool connect… Feeling relieved… Knowing that I had finished a journey.
Just as blogging. I never create to impress. I create for myself, for my creations are a physical product of my inner struggle and being. I gave a tree a make-over for me. For every reason except for shine and attention.
It was rather for self care.
The self care aspect reached new heights as people commented, sent messaged, called about my tree.
Appreciating what I did.
This is yet something I have to learn to deal with…
Public attention is not an aspect of life that falls in my comfort zone. It is humbling to experience people appreciating a product of one’s inner being…..
But I often wonder if those who appreciate the product, connect with the story, the emotion behind every stitch, every colour.
For no creation, on blank canvas or on crochet needle, comes from worthless breaths of air. It comes from the deepest deep and the most hurtful pain. For a creation is a part of the one who created it.
Driving past my tree, seeing tourists admire it, admiring it myself from a tourist’s point of view, was rewarding. And I feel like completely relating to the feelings an artist feels.
For this special needs mom, it was an act of self care. It wasn’t to impress or to attract admiration, it wasn’t an act of an artist or someone renowned. It was simply to let loose what my inner self was holding captured.
It was for ME!
Captive feelings let loose, the tree dressed and admired by many, it would lose its colors soon, for seasons change.
People change, and so did a small piece of myself by being part of a pro-ject that is part a bigger picture.
As the trees’ season changes, my colours will be displayed in another part of town, for others to see through the year… And for me to look at a few days in my life, when I took care of me!
Every parent should do acts the mind does’nt let one think is selfish. One should look after oneself now and again. The mind can’t think straight when it’s tired. The mind will tell you self care is selfish.
But it’s not.
The mind will benefit the most after a self care session.
And so would the rest of your world and your surroundings.
To all parents, special needs or not, take that day off, do that crazy thing.
Go dress a tree, go hug a tree, go throw a bucket of paint somewhere, go express yourself and get rid of what your inner keeps captive.
You are allowed to.
My chrochet needle is buried away, my sore fingers treated, my tree soon only to be a memory on a photo.
But my soul is clean, released from what was holding me back.
It was good.
It was worthwhile.
I can now face reality again…