So much to say.
The bride’s father, struggling somewhat with the English, was delighted to find that we had a mutual second language (third for him) but laughed when I said I was deaf in English and French both. (Not quite kidding there in the happy noise of that crowded room.)
The ceremony on Friday was in Spanish. The love was universal–and it was intense. So. Much. Joy., almost as if we humans are almost too small to comprehend and take it all in. It filled everything. If ever there were two people meant for each other it was Derek and Mely.
My friends RobinM and Kunmi in Maryland gifted me some time ago with the surprise of a very generous gift certificate to Purlescence; I wish they could have seen my face or Nathania’s happy anticipation at the shop as I opened that envelope and gasped, stunned, thrilled, trying to take it in.
I got to see that same look and I wish they could have, too.
A few weeks ago, I had in my hands the last skein of the Cascade Epiphany I bought with that gift: a blend of cashmere, silk, and royal baby alpaca, the finest grade, one of the softest yarns in my stash.
And it was red. Slightly on the bluish side. Which *I* like but I dunno… Sometimes it’s an effort, though it shouldn’t be, to let go of working with the yarns that I favor and to use ones the recipient would rather.
Not having met the bride yet at that point, I went combing through Facebook photos. I wasn’t seeing it. But still it felt like nothing else would do–one would think I could reconcile those things, stash, dyepot or yarn store if need be, color choices showing up in pictures, but I couldn’t so I threw the problem in G_d’s hands: please help me get over myself and my love of this yarn I’d been saving the last of for just the right thing if what I’m supposed to be knitting her is something else.
Stubbornly, nothing else was coming to me and that red just felt all the more right. Huh. I didn’t know what the climate was like where the bride was from but I did know she’d be living in a cold one for awhile here and that Epiphany would make a good warm cowl against the skin. And so I knitted it up.
We were some of the first to arrive at the rehearsal dinner Thursday, guessing on the rush hour traffic on the careful side, and so I had a moment to hand the bride a small gift and to tell her, This is for (specifically) *you*.
She was wearing a fabulous dress–and that cowl was an exact match. The tape had come undone off the top of the wrapping (never buy flocked gift paper, it sheds little glitter bits all over everything and it doesn’t stay taped) and she peeked in and gasped. “That is my FAVORITE color!”
Several months ago I knit another warm cowl out of Malabrigo Arroyo. The colorway was beautiful but not really mine; I kept thinking it would look fabulous on someone who was Latina, but whatever, the feeling was that I needed to knit this and I needed to have it ready on a moment’s notice. It’s easier to knit something in happy anticipation of a specific recipient but I had no idea who the who was. Just that it needed to become a thing.
This was before my nephew announced his engagement. Even after, the cowl being finished and put away and forgotten, it didn’t dawn on me.
And I made another one out of silk that didn’t get very long, just a sweet little thing is all; my hands were hurting, the lack of give to the yarn helped not at all, I had no idea why I was making it and at the time I just cast it off and called it done. This was right after the Arroyo.
Last Tuesday I was packing my bags for the trip and wrapping the bride’s cowl in happy anticipation.
At the last second, when everything else was in the suitcase and ready to go, on some impulse I went looking and I found those two forgotten cowls. I found a third–and felt no not that one at all, put it back, and I did. More on that later. But the Arroyo and the silk went into my carryon. I still hadn’t figured out why.
I did very quickly after I met Mely’s family: her mother was a cheerful, sweet, funny woman (I didn’t have to speak the language to enjoy how much laughing went on wherever she was) but she was seeing her daughter off in marriage to a good man–but one who lived on a different continent, as would her daughter now. I can only try to fathom how that would be. She needed a sense of connection to the love all of his family feels for all of hers during the lonely, missing times to come.
Mely had probably shown off her cowl to her mom by the time I opened my purse again at the end of the rehearsal dinner, but I don’t know for sure.
Her mom exclaimed over the knitting, and her close friend, who had been sitting at our table during the dinner getting to know us a little and who now lives near where the bride and groom will be living and who had played translator quite a few times over the course of the evening, told me something I didn’t quite get about I think the mom’s attempts to learn to knit. I could have gotten that wrong. Whatever, they both appreciated what had gone into the making of those two things.
And then her friend got it and translated what I said again to the mom: Choose. Pick your favorite.
Mely’s mom gasped, stunned. It had not occurred to her! And–! Really?!
She considered a moment, stroking the fabric on the soft Arroyo; she held it close to her face and neck and then holding onto it threw her arms around me. She laughed in delight and put it on. (Not so much on the matching on that one but there are other outfits. Definitely colors that look good on her.)
Her friend, meantime, was wearing a dress that quite matched that bit of silk that I was wishing I had made longer–but it was enough. I turned then, and, picking it up, placed it around the friend’s neck.
Now SHE gasped. “It’s my favorite color!” And it did match her dress.
A very small, almost trivial part of the weekend. And yet. In an evening of love, of changes ahead, of returns shortly to where we live with everything different now, we all felt a little more that we were home among each other.
And that good woman has a tangible reminder of trust that her daughter is well loved where she has landed.
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