Like Shadowlands Headband, our next Slip and Rise release, nods to CS Lewis and Puddles. In his autobiography Lewis talks of joy being signposts that give us pause for momentary reflection but point Heavenward towards God Who placed them there to direct us to Him and show us a glimpse of His abounding love.
As I alluded to previously, the first four designs were created in a flurry of creativity last Fall and knit under my Great Dane blanket completely oblivious to his impending passing. For me, Puddles was joy, a signpost of God’s enduring love and provision.
In his memorial, I said God used Puddles to teach me how to love well and fully. One of the characteristics of chronic illness is an extreme level of self-awareness and the companion pitfall of self-centeredness. How God through Puddles, camera mom, and camera dad, taught me to love fully was to learn to love sacrificially as opposed to egotistically.
Big cavaet – camera mom (especially) and dad were always filling in where I lacked ability, but in those areas where it was easier to let them care for Puddles rather than “rising above” the areas where self-awareness had led to selfishness, they didn’t. Early in his life it was fun areas – playing, morning potty-breaks, and going outside (you’d not know it now, but learning to love the outdoors took years after my illness hit and lots of medical treatment to be well enough).
For the last two years of his illness, it was not fun things. Learning to rely upon God’s grace for strength to clean up / clean him up / and piles of laundry on a weekly basis was part of the process of learning to love sacrificially. Except on the rare occasion of him “getting into” something in the woods, showing patience, peace, calmness, gentleness and care during the process were gifts God taught me and I know Puddles appreciated. Learning to accept camera mom and dad’s help, but also learning not to expect or reply on them to do it was also an important lesson.
You may wonder, what does that have to do with Love Letters Cowl? I was enjoying his life and then processing through his passing during the creation, knitting, writing, tech editing and test knitting process. The two are forever linked!
All of the above leads to the color choice – cliché white and red for Valentine’s Day, right? Nope! Determined to reduce my stash before the moving, I found these two yarns and thinking through the entwining heart elements lead me to mediate on the blood of Christ, which washes us white as snow. Love entwined through Him is pure as well as it is full of grace, learning, and growing!
A rough undeveloped idea was the non-entwined border hearts, a reflection of my previous concept and ability of love… separated and guarded, though still present. Willing to touch others but not envelop in the way Christ taught me through Puddles, camera mom, & camera dad!
The shoot location is the last love letter. The cliff behind our house is where we scattered Puddles’ ashes 3 days after the shoot on his birthday. In a joy touches sorrow moment, without a wind and trying on both sides of the cliff, that which was my boy flew back upon each one of us as we said goodbye… in Puddles’ typical “Velcro” Dane style… always with and touching my human!