Thursday, August 13, 2009

Square 49: Forest friends

Square 049

One morning Brenna and Tory had gone in the canoe, and I found myself alone at the cottage. Solitude can be a fertile space, but I had let trouble and loneliness overtake it. I turned to yarn for solace, opening the bag of many colours, seeking stories. The variegated yarn from Fleece Artist suggested all the colours of the forest outside these cottage windows. I took it onto the deck and began to knit a square.

A chipmunk came to forage for seed under the bird feeder nearby. Chipmunks here are lucky. Brenna as a little girl took a dislike to the larger, saucy red squirrels. Roaring and shrieking, she would chase them into the forest. They would return of course, chattering and mocking her from the branches, perpetuating the cycle of mistrust.

But the quieter chipmunks she welcomes with handouts. This year I notice her regarding red squirrels with more reserve. Time and experience teach us patience.

My peaceful little companion watched me with dark dark, lucid eyes and unconcern as it handled bits of food deftly. I spoke to it and knitted the first four rows while the tiny creature stayed. The rich golden-tan of the variegated yarn resembled the chipmunk’s main coat, so I used black and pale gold to describe the stripes, white Lopi for the belly.

Danny and I hand-dyed the gold yarn here at the cottage a few years ago using autumn beech leaves.

After the chipmunk vanished, a tribe of chickadees came to feed, chattering and squeaking softly. The forest had supplied the companionship I needed, and so injected its own stories into my own.

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