On Being a Nomad . . . .
Without planning to, my family and I seem to be modern day nomads. We moved around when I was a kid because of my Dad's job, and even today, we still move around. The most ironic thing of it is that we are happiest just hanging out at home (wherever that home happens to be) with family and friends.
At some point, we learned that home isn't where your stuff is, or even a city or town. It's where your people are. The up side is that we aren't afraid to move to new places or try new things. The down side is that we don't have roots planted in a place, as many people do.
Not only has my family moved our lives over the years, but me, my Dad, and my brother have had jobs with heavy travel demands (sometimes more, sometimes less). My sister in law once looked at us all happily being lazy in the living room together and shook her head, while chuckling. She observed that we had work lives that many people would envy but that none of us wanted to be traveling. Somehow, we all did. All. The. Time. And she was right.
My brother and I had overlapping business travel in London once, so we hung out in a pub and watched football (okay, soccer). My Dad and brother were in Taiwan and Hong Kong at the same time, but their planes passed in the air. We give each other recommendations when we go to places the others have been.
For me, knitting has always been a connection to family and friends, even if we're physically far apart. When I was a girl, I learned to knit from my grandmother, but I didn't stick with it. I can still picture the skein of acrylic yarn in green/orange/gold with a couple of inches of knitting stuffed into my closet and abandoned.
I picked it back up when I was in college (and traveling, of course). I spent the summer in Germany at a German language course, and a young woman from Cyprus was also taking the course. A group of us would hang out after class and go out at night, and she was always knitting.
It (and she) looked peaceful, and the yarn was so pretty. I asked her to teach me. She did, and I've been knitting ever since. When my grandmother was still alive, we always connected around knitting. I showed her my projects, and got her thoughts on pattern ideas. She showed me hers; in later years, they were mostly crochet because it was easier on her hands.
Knitting also connects me to family and friends in a different way. I knit for them. Maybe it is for a big joyous life event, like a new baby or a wedding. Or to show them that I'm with them when they go through a tough time.
To me, a shawl or scarf is a metaphysical hug. Unlike a card or flowers, it lasts for a long time, and I spend a lot of time on it, thinking of who I'm making it for. It is something more permanent.
Maybe it's the nature of community that knitting creates that has kept knitting close to my heart. Maybe it's the excuse to drop into meetups or shops in a strange place. Maybe it's the fact that knitting relaxes me. Maybe it's something else entirely.
Maybe it's home for a wanderer.