Ya know? Some gifts just keep going, opening up like rose petals. You can probably think of examples in your life. Here’s one of mine.
A friend in the Northwest Arkansas Handweavers Guild (NWAHG) gave me some left over yarn. It was baby Alpaca (soft and warm): a treasure. There were two small batches. One was a glorious blue and the other, dark brown. Combining them I had enough to knit a pair of gloves. So I did.
Not just a regular pair of gloves, the pattern required skills I didn’t own yet. And furthermore, I had to follow instructions start to finish- which is against my make-it-up as you go inclinations. The challenge was exciting. And the gloves were exciting and warm to wear.
This could be the end of the story, but it’s not. The following winter, Arthur and I went to China on a birdwatching, critter watching trip. Being out in nature in a foreign country for three weeks was wonderful. We were in Szechuan, a group of five camping-worthy Americans with an expat British guide.
I packed sparsely and well, including my blue sleeping bag with arms coat…and my blue patterned alpaca gloves. On the high passes it was solid snow. And the Tibetan Plateau was expansive and breath-taking. One morning we drove far into uncharted territory looking for a fox, I think.
A woman was walking the fence line was working a well-worn mala, beads used in devotion practice. She had a weathered face and her clothes bundled her up. As we passed slowly, I realized that she wasn’t wearing gloves. It was no-kidding freeeeeeeezing.
We stopped the van and I went over to her. Using gestures and smiles…I took off my gloves and gave them to her. She was elegant, but looked completely baffled or stunned. Traveling off the beaten path, we encountered people who had never seen an American tourist. Most of the sanctioned tours are in huge buses with 30 or more people.
Here are pictures of her, as we pulled away in our little van. Our guide told me that I shouldn’t have given her the gloves, that she didn’t understand, etc. He didn’t understand that my spirit was gifted by the encounter. I love those gloves even more thinking they are in a yurt high on the Tibetan plateau.