A few months ago, on a cold, snowy day, my husband, daughter, and I were lying cozily in my bed. I looked up from my reading to see my husband writing on his laptop and my daughter watching a fairy tale on the tablet and, as I listened to the snowflakes brushing whisperingly against the window beside me, I felt a rush of contentment and gratitude that we had warmth and companionship. Then I noticed, with a happy jolt of satisfaction, that all of us were cuddled up under our own blankets, and that those blankets were the ones I had made for each of us.
I forget about these blankets because we use them all the time; they have blended into our everyday lives and don’t seem as special sometimes as the things I make to give away. But each of them were made to personal specifications: soft neutrals with no big holes for his toes to stick through for my husband, a cloud-soft nubby yarn in “turqwawoise” for my daughter, and one of my favorite lacy patterns, a bargello, in a cool, light cotton for me. I may forget about the work I put into these particular afghans, but they are well loved.
And that is one of the reasons I love to create: to have a tangible reminder that someone else is worth my time and effort.
Don’t get me wrong: the act of creating something, especially with my hands, fills me up; I get a sense of that spark of divinity that we all carry around inside us. The vivid bliss of getting to play with color, the peace that comes with feeling the softness of the yarn run through my fingers, the sharp joy of seeing something that at one time existed only inside my head be made material, all of that is a tremendous motivator for me to continue creating. (Not to mention that I truly fear that without the calming influence of my crafting, my sanity would be irreparably frazzled.)
But on that snowy day, I realized how much gratification I feel knowing that something I made is loved. That’s ultimately why I made it, after all. Even if the person I made it for doesn’t remember that I had anything to do with it, I hope my creation is loved, and giving the comfort that inanimate things can sometimes give in return.
This time of separation, when there is so much loneliness and anxiety, is a wonderful time to think about what you can make for someone else. It could be a comforting scarf or afghan, a lacy thread bookmark, a fun amigurumi toy, or whatever you think will help the person you have in mind. Spread some of that soft, colorful love around!
It will probably help keep your own sanity from getting frazzled, as well.