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I spent a lot of time thinking over the holiday about what I am thankful for, of course, but also about how things feel really hard right now, in America and elsewhere. There is so much divisiveness and uncertainty and we don’t really know how it’s all going to pan out (which, I suppose, is always true, but doesn’t usually feel as precarious as it does right now).
What can we do? I wrote a little bit recently about the things we can do about political and social issues that are important to us, but that’s not what I mean here.
What can we do to give each others and ourselves comfort?
As always, we can make things.
Keeping my hands busy, finishing projects, making things that will wrap my family in warmth and love is such a great comfort right now, and it’s a great reaction to feeling helpless and hopeless. Making small moves that comfort you and the recipient of your work.
Over the past few days I sewed the top of a blanket made out of my husband’s old shirts, finished up a gigantic scarf, started up work on a long-neglected sock and started another scarf.
It was the scarves that really stuck with me.
Don’t we all need a little warmth right now?
Regardless of political affiliation, gender preference, social status, race, whatever we use to label and divide.
We all need warmth. Literal and metaphorical.
To know that we have each other’s backs. To give and receive little gestures of love.
To give warmth.
So that kind of feels like my mission right now.
For me, it’s about scarves, because they’re basic and simple and most people can use them (and you can even make lightweight ones for people who live where it doesn’t really get cold).
It could be hats, handwarmers, those little sewn bags with the rice in them you heat up in the microwave.
Give something warm to your friends, family, coworkers, strangers. Make a bunch and give them to the school in your area with the highest poverty level.
It could be buying a gift card at the coffeeshop and advising the barista to use it on whoever looks like they need it most.
Baking cookies for the school crossing guard. Volunteering for a cause you support. Shovel the neighbor’s driveway. Make cards to send to a local nursing home.
While I’m all in favor of making things, if you can’t possibly add another thing this time of year (then you probably really need to do it, but that’s another issue) buy some scarves, hats and gloves and give them to the local homeless shelter.
Give warmth. In all the ways you can.
Who’s with me? I’ll be using the hashtag #givewarmth as I work on projects through the next month and beyond; I’d love to see what you’re making and spreading, too. I’ll be sharing plenty of ideas for no sew, sewn, knit and crocheted scarves you can use to spread warmth, or do whatever you like and share around. Let’s start a movement!