A January thaw’s afoot. Ashes are shoveled from the briefly resting wood stove and the Previously Buried - a yuletide tree, a snow shovel, some long-dead pots of mums - are pulled from their snowy dooryard graves. Meanwhile a pot roast simmers. Don’t we know January thaws never keep, at least for now. There are enough snow showers predicted in the 10-day to ease some of the creeping worry of these April-like days, but winter rain and receding snow lines certainly have a way of putting a person’s teeth on edge.
If you’re a reader of my sporadic newsletters, you’ll know we tumbled into this new year like a family of fresh little calves, sure of what to do with ourselves but unsteady on our feet all the same. There are newly broken bones to nurse and stomach bugs that just won’t let up. We’ve barely been living as ourselves in the resulting haze. But, in the quiet hours of last week (there were so few, weren’t there?) I mended and newly buttoned a secondhand sweater I gave myself two birthdays past (and there I was again).
The sweater is an oversized men’s cardigan whose purchase was catalyzed by Wool Lust I developed from a queasily expensive cardigan elsewhere. Beautifully cabled, horribly buttoned, recently hole-y without explanation. It was an ideal project for an exhausting stretch of days and now that it’s done, I love the sweater enough to have put the idea of unraveling the thing all together - in favor of making something that isn’t so, SO oversized - completely on the back burner. Blessings to the power of some artful mending and a new fleet of buttons.
The buttons are handmade of yew wood, which feels quite an auspicious choice for the times at hand. Yews, ancient and steadfast, are able to dip their old limbs to the earth and root themselves anew. In the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty, what a settling communion between maker and materials- to sew six little talismanic reminders of How To Be down a button placket. Indeed the typical rhythm of our life will remain disrupted for a stretch of time yet, but Root Anew is the call of the season and so we will.
XX to you and yours.