Last night, I accepted as fact that I would not to knit today because my family was leaving for Portland at 7 am for an outdoor ceremony for my brother Nate. But my sister Jubilee piped up and said I could knit before 7 am. I decided I would, provided that I woke up by 5:30 am. I didn’t set my alarm, but my heart wanted to knit, because I woke up on time. My sublet in Fairhaven has drawn to a close, so I am now living with my parents on the other side of town. It’s terrible for the environment, but I hopped in my car anyway and drove down empty streets. The red streetlights turned green for me as I approached, the way fear dissolves when we move forward regardless.
When I got to the bench, it was still dark although the street light provided enough light to knit by. I could feel droplets of mist on my skin. Then the thought occurred to me that if I entered my neighbors’ basement in the dark to fetch the ball of knitting, they might think I am a thief. Or Buster might start barking and wake them up. I had just had an experience yesterday in which I showed up at someone’s house to drop something in their carport without giving advanced notice–they were not happy. So I decided to sit, rather than knit, out of respect for my neighbor E. At least, I could hold the space for one hour.
I enjoyed taking pictures in the dark, and watching the sky lighten without ever seeing the sun through all the fog. The fog horn tooted, two trains whistled by, a blue jay screeched, a dog barked and fell silent. A man pulled up in his car and asked me if I was doing my knit in the dark? He sounded impressed. Meanwhile, he was heading out early on his way to Steven’s Pass to rock-climb. I saw my neighbor E. at the end of the sit, and I told him I had just sat. He said, “That’s a good thing to do.” He is a meditator, a lover of silence. He said he wakes up earlier than I’ll ever come, and that Buster doesn’t usually bark. He said “Bah!” to my comment that I didn’t want him and his wife to mistake me for a thief breaking into their basement. So now I know that I can knit in the dark whenever I like. Hurrah!
My family finally picked me up at 7:30…it had taken them longer than they expected to get out the door. I was cold, and my bum was damp from the dewy bench. We started our drive down to Portland…About halfway there, we got a text from my brother saying that the event had been cancelled due to the weather. So we stopped to visit my grandpa in Issaquah, and then drove back to Bellingham. I knit today afterall! My family dropped me off at the bench. I unwound the line and sat down to knit at 5:20, hoping the rain would hold off for the hour’s knitting session. (It did.) About halfway through, someone began yanking on the line again, very hard. I leapt out of the bench, ran across the street, and started yelling at the top of my lungs, “STOP!” I put my foot down on the rope giving it my full weight so that it could not be pulled down the hill any farther.
Thank God, R. and C. were home with company for dinner. They saw the line moving, heard me yelling, and R. and two male guests came running outside. I told them a “hooligan” was yanking on the line. R. shook his head, “A hooligan? A juvenile delinquent maybe, but a hooligan?” I was not feeling politically correct at the moment. We could see a guy down below circling the intersection on a bicycle, and R. thought he could see the line tied to the back of it. One of the dinner guests, Damien, jumped into his car in sock feet and drove down the hill to try to stop him. R. told me, “We have to tell them to stop. This is history in the making…” By the time Damien reached 14th street, the kid had pedaled away. I sat down to knit again, watching the line for every twitch, and feeling a bit paranoid. But there were no more disturbances. G. stopped by for a visit, and I found her grandmotherly company so comforting in the moment. We talked about quilting, and her recent camping trip in British Columbia. I was glad to have a distraction to keep me from stewing. When I went to roll up the line, it was in a giant tangle, but it came loose easily. R. advised me to keep my knitting to school hours as much as possible. Yes indeed!