Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.
~ William Shakespeare
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the pleasures inherent in daily routine. I’ve taken up sewing and knitting again this year, and also started swimming laps a couple of mornings a week.
I find a certain pleasure in doing something familiar over and over by rote — whether it be 18 rows of 38 stitches to make a simple coffee cozy, or 50 laps of a 25 yard pool to swim a mile and a bit before heading to work.
May every stitch you knit bring you a little closer to the calm,
clear space in the center of your soul. ~Unknown knitter
In a world that champions improvisation and ad-hoc design, my mind seems to relish the order and repetition of knitting. Of knowing that four ribbed rows, eight stockinette, and a closing four of rib give you structure that allows for variation of color and design. That 50 laps are not boring when you alternate strokes and break up every ten laps with a couple using a kickboard.
There is also the beauty of the medium — the feel of bamboo needles and soft yarn, the silk of the water.
How it feels to watch the knitting grow or mentally mark each lap across the pool.
And in the end, the final stitch, sewing up the garment; the heave up and out of the water, limbs shaky but feeling well used.
The more intense the nature of a man,
the more readily will he find meditation,
and the more successfully will he practice it.
~ British poet, James Allen