mr. widdle and the sea breeze

Calvin and Ken


I was in an ugly mood tonight because I’d just ruined a painting of a wiener dog that I had my heart set on, and the last thing I wanted to do was go out and knit in what looked like a hurricane.  But I pushed myself out the door, whining to my roommates all the while.  Coming down the hill, unwinding my knitting, I happened upon two guys sitting on the grass by the school, chatting and hanging out.  They had such joyful faces.  One guy (Calvin) asked if he could take a photo of me for his girlfriend who just started knitting.  He had Jackson Pollock pants, splattered with dry wall plaster, so I had to take a photo of him too.  The other guy, Ken, told me that he knits, and pulled out a partially-knit, checkered headband from his knapsack.  They asked me where I knit, and I told them about the abandoned bus stop, and how I fell in love with the old bench and wanted to give it a new purpose in life.  “It wasn’t ready to retire,” Ken said.  I loved his spectacles, round like the wheels of his bicycle.  We said goodbye, and I finished unwinding the line and sat down to knit on the bench.  A young woman rode up on her bicycle and said how happy she was to see me, that she’s been wondering for days why I’m knitting a line to the ocean.  I told her that I love metaphors, and that the line is a little stream flowing down to the ocean.  And that it’s about my little self merging with the infinite One.  She said she was doing something related to my project–she works for Washington Stream Conservancy, a nonprofit that saves streams.


Mr. Widdle and the Sea Breeze by Jo Ann Stover

I had a long chat with the Urban Hiker today too…he earned a living filleting salmon in Alaska, spending the winters near Guadalajara, Mexico.  His dream was always to open a cafe in Mexico that served breakfast and lunch, so that he could spend the evening on the beach.  But he never did it.  The bicyclist with the cow bell pedaled up the hill smiling as usual but not saying a word.  When I went to store the ball of knitting in my neighbor E’s basement, I found that he had set out his rainboots for me.  So thoughtful!  It was a blustery but warm evening. I felt like shouting, the wind was so teeming with life.  It reminded me of one of my favorite childhood stories, “Mr Widdle and the Sea Breeze” about a grumpy, old man whose life is turned upsidedown by a girl and her pet seagull.  When the Sea Breeze comes, Mr. Widdle is pulled out of his rut, into the big, wide world.  That is happening to me too…


One thought on “mr. widdle and the sea breeze

  1. carol says:

    Sara sent me a message with your blog address. I am enjoying reading about your blue line–lovely way to interact with the community! You ARE an artist!!

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