Monday, December 24, 2012

The Pack

I'm a big NPR-listener, and one of my favorite segment is "This I  Believe." I love hearing about other people's beliefs, and really about other people in general. I'm always asking some stranger why he loves his job or what got her into her career or what kind of pet they prefer. In some worlds, this is considered being a nosey parker or just plain intrusive.

But not on NPR--there we can wallow in other people's "stuff" and feel perfectly normal.

Anyway, on this particular episode, a youngish woman is relating a discussion she had with her two sons. One of the boys opines that he's very grateful to be a mammal. Some of the advantages he cites were that we have hair (well, I used to anyway!), that we can have babies, and that we're warm-blooded. The other, younger, son noted the oh-so-true fact that the really hardy species, having survived from dinosaur times, was reptiles.  Plus they had scales, apparently a very cool thing to have. The older son said, "well, if you were a snake, you wouldn't be here with us, because most of those moms leave as soon as the egg breaks, but since you're a mammal you're here with your pack!"

Wow! The pack makes all the difference, doesn't it?

It made me think of my pack.

Really, I, like most mammals have more than one pack. My cubs have formed their own packs, and my siblings and my cousin live far away with their new packs. But my knitting pack is here with me every day--steady and reliable.

Even when I was a solitary knitter, meaning that I didn't have even one friend who knitted, I had a knitting pack. I had the Knitlist and the Sockknitters List and the Ample Knitters List and all those folks were my pack. Maggie Righetti was in my pack, maybe even the Leader of the Pack, though she was (and remains) blissfully unaware of my existence. My pack and I chatted back and forth about what was important in our lives--making knots with pieces of yarn--and I was part of a companionable community. Every so often I'd sneak out of town to attend a pack meeting run by TKGA or Knitter's Magazine. I still have that pack, and I meet with them online or at Stitches events--people I know only a little but we have something important in common.

But my everyday pack today is a group of knitting women--no more than five or six usually. Even though we met through knitting, our relationship has grown to be much more inclusive. We knit, eat, travel, eat some more, shop for yarn, and generally hang out. We laugh a lot and occasionally there are tears.  When things get tough in my life, either because of some real or imagined situation, they're there for me. They have walked me through everything from a dropped stitch to a family crisis.  Occasionally, I return the favor.

Together we do what Elizabeth Zimmerman advised: we keep on knitting, through all situations, with confidence.

Thanks, Pack! I love each and every one of you.

1 comment:

ddknits said...

You sneaky thing!! When I had almost given up on you, you started blogging again. I always enjoy your posts.