when i went through grief therapy after earl died i totally sucked at the whole guided imagery thing. i mean sucked. big time. i was plagued by childhood memories of wishing i had a special place and feeling sorry for myself because i didn’t. (these feelings, i should note, usually came to me when i was in some kind of wonderful place. if i took a shortcut to my piano teacher’s house, for example, i could cut through an undeveloped forested area with a stream meandering through it. i took this short cut all the time, sat by the stream, and wondered why i didn’t feel the ecstasy of having a beautiful place all to myself.)

as an adult in therapy, all i could was imagine how much better i would feel if i could find the absolutely perfect image. so i would try to conjure my ideal of that image, and that would leave me feeling wholly inadequate for not already having such an image. never mind all the natural beauty i already had available to me.  {sigh.}

but one day it clicked for me. i wasn’t trying to find one real place. instead, i just relaxed. and i saw myself in a small empty room bathed in a honey-golden light, the kind that comes from gorgeously-stained old pine floors. i was sitting in rocking in a chair holding a baby wrapped in a green blanket. even today, more than two years later, i can conjure that image and immediately be washed in peaceful feelings.

but back then, that image triggered for me a new knitting project. i found some luxuriously soft, spring-green yarn in a cashmere/wool blend and starting knitting a complicated baby blanket in a cabled-entrelac pattern. i started the blanket before i was even pregnant. and i finished it in time to wrap m in it at the hospital.

nothing i’ve knitted since then has brought me that sense of peace and overwhelming love. i have knitted any number of things, including the sweetest little hat for ruby, but i have neither started nor completed a project that felt right — right — in my bones. today, though, i stopped in a yarn store to buy a knitting book for my 11-year old niece. i paused by a softly-hued yarn display and was suddenly relaxed and happy: the feeling was back.

i’m not pregnant, and i don’t have a project in mind. but it is so clearly time to browse the yarn aisles and baby patterns. it’s time to curl up, relax, and dream of what can maybe be.