As we drove out of Bozeman at 4am it was so dark you couldn't see the Madison river as we ascended the Canyon towards Ennis. I dozed on and off as Martin steered the RV along the winding road, the moon appeared above the mountains shining just enough light for us to see that we had climbed high enough for the snow to be lining the roadway. It was an auspicious morning for the start of our trip.
The daylight permitted me to pull-out my current knitting project - a seed stitch double looped cowl in chunky green acrylic. It was still cold, if I got it finished, I would be able to wear it. As we progressed through Idaho I knitted feverishly, knit-one, purl-one, knit-one, purl-one as the yarn steadily disappeared from my ball and steadily created a new garment.
As we emerged into the spring deserts of Nevada we saw something we had never seen on our earlier trips to and from California - snow capped desert mountains, rivers flowing wide and full lined with red blossoms, the desert floor green with live sage brush. Such lush aliveness was incredibly exciting as each turn of the road gave new life to which on previous trips had been a dead and boring repetitive landscape.
I had 24 hours with this beauty doing mother-daughter things while Martin set-up office in the RV to get to work on his many projects. I admire and am grateful for his commitment and fortitude, despite our attempts to lure him away with promises of shopping, yarn stores and lunch. Nina and I ventured into Reno in search of a ski pack, and with REI dividends and discounts were able to score a great pack for Nina's up coming back-country adventures. As we left REI I asked a gentleman where we should go for breakfast. He sent us to Two Chicks for the "best breakfast in Reno" and we had to agree! Beautiful, yummy, and the cherry honey butter on toast resulted in an extra serving of toast for the two chicks at Two Chicks.
Next on our outing was a trip to the most amazing yarn store - Jimmy Bean's, a warehouse full of incredible selection of all sorts of specialty yarns. There were so many it was impossible to choose. Next time I return to Reno I will have a project in mind. We each bought only 1 skein, Nina black to double with the rainbow yarn I had given her, and I bought a skein of multi-colored blues and greens that will become a cowl for me at some point on our trip.
The trip will certainly be marked and punctuated by knitting adventures and projects. As once again Nina and I sat knitting and talking I began one project with some lovely light and dark green yarn. I didn't like how it was coming out, so I tore it out and started a hat.
Knitting teaches me patience. It is my meditation. I think all the Natural Energies need a way of calming down and centering, of connecting into thought free state to enable new information to surface, knitting works for me as a Natural Energy 6. Rarely is it about finishing the project, except when it is, as in the case of the cowl. Months prior I had attempted a particularly difficult shawl, twice. It starts with a 26 round pattern of 10 rows of cable and edge stitching that was quite challenging to master. The first time through I had left out two rows in each round. I didn't realize my mistake until I was done. Since the next part of the pattern was predicated on the first being correct, I decided to pull it out and start again, this was several months ago. Once again I made it to the end, only to measure the length and find it to be about 2 feet too long. I had stuck the project in a plastic bag and was waiting to decide what to do about this mess at a future time. Many lessons in this, and much entertainment from one ball of yarn. Nina in her amazing ability to connect helped me to pull-out the 30 hours of knitting in about 5 minutes, so that it could become a completely different project in the future of the trip. In some ways it felt just as good to finish a project in this way - unravelling what had been created to allow it to become something new in the future, trusting that the unravelling, though challenging to let-go and a little sticky to pull-out - when done in relationship with my daughter ended-up being a fun activity.
Was this to be a theme of our trip - unravelling with non-attachment something that we have created so it can become something new! Perhaps there are many themes buried in this simple story of the start of our adventures. More to come!