I've been enamored with the idea of prayer shawls ever since I heard the name. I was raised in a very straight forward religion. No crosses or sacred symbols, just a straight forward deep abiding faith in God. I've always been a bit jealous of Catholics with their rituals, and mass, and saints, and Latin. Their religious culture just seemed richer, with secret elements. The idea of praying a prayer into a shawl while knitting sounded like magic, reminiscent of the hand movements I've seem people make while using a rosary.
I like the idea of praying while knitting. Whispering hopes and dreams into the stitches. I've knit health, strength and love into a shawl for my Mother-in-Law. I've knit humor, intelligence, grace and beauty into a baby sweater. I tried knitting healing into a hat for my Mom. It didn't work.
But I still try. It's mystic, and magical. It's like casting a spell, weaving dreams into reality while you knit. Giving your desires tangible form.
I've had a prayer for my family. A wish, a hope, a dream, a goal, a need, a prayer. Not a larger than life win the lottery wish, just a little wish. A prayer so important, so needed, so necessary in our lives. I needed it to be heard by the universe. I needed it to be known, given consideration, and hopefully granted. A prayer I hoped that if I gave physical form I could call it into being.
The Greatest is trying to get a new job. He's been looking for a long time. Trying to find something stable, with a future, advancement, a 401 K and healthcare. Something to support the family, not with six figures and elaborate vacations, but with a roof and food. Not a wild dream, just a dream most mothers dream for their families.
He is currently trying to get that job in the Southwest. It's beautiful there. Mountains, cactus, sunshine, stucco houses. It is different from what we know, but we could adapt. We could build a life there, carve out a place for our family. We could be happy there. I've prayed and prayed and prayed for this. For The Greatest to have his dream. For The Greatest to be happy. For my family to have what it needs. After We came back from his interview last month I started a prayer shawl for my prayer. A prayer for the Southwest.
I knit the Spirit of the Southwest Shawl.
Isn't it beautiful. I used the nicest yarn I own. My Zephyr. Part silk, part wool, all wonderful.
As I knit the Sun I prayed for Sunshine. For real sunshine to warm our faces. An absence of winter. To sit outside in the sun light. But beyond the physical I prayed for an end to this cloud I feel in my heart. For my soul to feel light, to feel as if I'm standing in the sun, surrounded by love and warmth.
As I knit Butterflies I thought about what butterflies mean to me. They make me think of beauty and giggles and fun. Of summer and flowers, and a light breeze. I prayed for more summer and flowers. For laughter with my children. For fun and smiles. For more beauty in our lives. I prayed for butterflies.
As I knit the Mountains I prayed for a home. For firm ground under our feet. Solid rock. A stable future. A place to call our own. Not a mansion. Just a little home to fill with memories, and kisses, and laughter.
As I knit the corn I prayed for food. For enough food for our family. I've got this strange thing where having food in the home makes me feel safe. No matter what else may happen when the house is full of food I know my children will be fed. My children have never gone hungry. I prayed they never will.
As I knit the water I prayed for life. For my family to feel life. To live in the moment. To enjoy life again. I also prayed for the life I feel waiting to join our family. I prayed our situation will change so we can have a fourth child. I prayed for The Greatest to want the fourth child as much as I do. I prayed this soul will be able to wait until we are ready. And that we will be ready soon.
As I knit the bunnies I though of Watership Down. I love this book for so many reasons. It has a history in my family that makes it special. But it is also a well-written beautiful story of bunnies trying to find a home for themselves. They searched and fought for a better life. Not an extravagant life, but a warren to call their own, where they could raise a family and frolic in the clover. They found such a place. I prayed we could find ours, with the strength, stamina, and courage shown by those humble rabbits.
As I knit the grass I prayed for a long growing season. I know that there is a season to everything. I know that when things get good they will eventually swing back to bad. I prayed for things to swing to good. And I prayed for a long growing season during the good so we can prepare for the inevitable famine.
As I knit the edging I prayed for an end. An end to the shawl. An end to the waiting to hear if The Greatest was going to be hired. An end to waiting to hear if we were going to move or not. An end to waiting for things to change.
As I knit the i-cord The Greatest was out of town for his final interviews. I prayed for him. I prayed things would go well. I prayed for him to have strength of mind and body. For him to do and say all the right things. For him to not feel alone during his journey. I prayed he would get the job.
As I blocked the shawl I prayed for comfort. As I smoothed the fabric of the shawl I prayed for comfort to sooth my furrowed brow. For an unseen hand to smooth the fabric of my life for a moment of respite. I prayed for peace to settle in my soul the way this shawl will settle around my shoulders. And again I prayed for an end to this project. For an end to the shawl, and end to the waiting, and end to this leg of our journey.
We have done all we can. The Greatest has filled out all the paperwork, taken all the tests, met with all the interviewers. I have knit my prayer. The final decisions are now out of our hands. All we can do is wait for the final answers.
We should have it in a week.