Right at the beginning – when I had launched this website – I had written a post on why everyone ought to start knitting. In that post, I had listed out all the advantages of knitting and had vehemently argued that knitting was not only about wool or woolen clothes. I had stated quite categorically that with the availability of a variety of yarns, knitting was no longer restricted to winter months or to the making of warm clothes. But if I were to be honest, for me knitting does conjure up the idea of warmth and coziness. Even all those articles on the Danish concept of Hygge have stock images of thick socks, cushy sweaters, hot cups of coffee and a blazing fire. I know that the blazing fire part is a bit much for our temperate climate, but everything else about the picture below seems idyllic to me.
One more reason for associating knitting and warmth is that both my grandmothers used to knit and what are grandmothers if not loving, warm and cuddly. In my head, the ideas of warmth and knitting are very closely connected. I believe even the giving of a hand knitted gift is akin to sharing of warmth both literally and metaphorically.
But there is another type of warmth that can be shared, which is even more valuable and today’s post is really about that. If the year 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that Mother Nature can be quite cold, cruel and undiscriminating in her fury. As if the pandemic was not enough, there are floods, blasts and plane crashes all around us causing people to suffer even more. I’m not going to be preachy today – no love thy neighbour lecture or pleas for donations to charities. Instead, I say – in a difficult time like this, how about giving the gift of understanding, empathy and sensitivity to the people in your life? How about biting your tongue the next time a harsh word comes to mind or leaving the room when you feel like shouting at someone or putting yourself in the shoes of another person and not judging them? It is a small gift from you and costs nothing, but it can mean a lot to the person who receives it – it may bring them a modicum of peace when nothing around them makes sense. That would be the true gift of warmth, if you ask me, and I urge you to start gifting generously as soon as possible.
As for me, my dog gives me a gift (a hug!) every day – his simple, unwavering adoration is something that I treasure. It gives me the strength to face another day with a big smile and a spring in my step.