It was a revelation: With my own hands and a little patience, I could make some of the very things I’d been planning to buy — and with just as fine or a finer result. Later on would come the challenge of translating what I saw in my mind’s eye into something that could keep my neck and hands warm. For now I reveled in the discovery of this power to create.
That birds, with their riot of color and sound and an ability to fly, have come to be associated with the stories of our deeply human quest to explore such things only makes sense. They are our fellow creatures — dust to dust, ashes to ashes — yet manage to break free of the shackles of gravity and transcend the ground from which we are all made.
I realized I wasn’t teaching these tiny people how to use their imaginations or how to be creative because they already were practically brimming over with innate curiosity. They were being who they were born to be — curious people. And if they were born like that, then surely I was, too. Over the years of working with children I learned to learn from them, and in the process, I have learned about myself.
It was not long after we landed that I became keenly aware of my own needs, which seemed myriad and great, physical and emotional and practical. As my pregnancy progressed, my body ached and grew weary very quickly, yet my responsibilities for my son and our household in this new place required a lot of physical activity. I was coming from a place where my sanity, and that of our son, was maintained by interacting with other families with small children on a daily basis, but in Iceland I knew no one.
I did want to tell my story kindly. I love my family. It delights me that that is how it has come across. I see no benefit for myself or others if I tell a story filled with anger and bitterness. Frankly, I think if I am unable to extend mercy to the people in my story, and receive the gifts they have given, even ones that have caused suffering, then I should wait until I am able to process, to heal more deeply.