An End and a Beginning

July 16 2015 floating dock b July 16 2015 new bench When I arrived at the bench, I immediately sensed a difference, and realized that C. had stripped the bench of all the mold and mildew and restored it to its original goodness.  I texted her, “Wow, the bench looks gorgeous!”  The bench felt satiny and smooth and oh so inviting.  But today I wasn’t planning to knit, I felt an urgency about measuring my distance to the Bay instead.  It was after 8 pm, and the temperature was warm but tolerable for the work ahead of me.  I wasn’t sure it was the smartest thing to attempt today because I’d slept hard for an hour after work, waking up groggy and out of sorts with an upset stomach.  But back to the task at hand.  The sun was about to set over the glistening water.  As I unwound the line down the hill, I stopped to gaze enraptured at the light shining through the ruby petals of a hollyhock’s towering spire.  The unwinding went smoothly and soon I was down to the dock.  Tons of people out walking–people with tiny dogs on tethers, moms pushing strollers, silver-haired couples and teenagers sporting perfect tans.  They peppered me with questions.  A lovely older couple attached themselves to me, saying that they had watched my progress over the years and were excited to witness this moment.  The rope kept unwinding–I dared not anticipate whether or not it would reach the water.  Finally I was on the floating dock which was aflutter with people catching crabs.  A small Asian boy playing with a wire crab cage smiled in our general direction, and a young man and woman sitting on plastic tubs sipping drinks at the far end of the dock made small talk with me.  “I thought it was a very long crabbing rope!” The guy told me regarding my line.  “Today’s the opening day of crab season.”  The rope more than reached the end of the dock.  The older gentleman high-fived me and everyone smiled.  I felt radiant.  The light was magical.  The golden hour. July 16 2015 floating dock group pix The line reached the end of the floating dock, with plenty of spare line still on the hose reel.  I didn’t put the end in the water because I want to save that moment for the closing reception.  We paused and snapped pictures together, then I started rewinding the line onto the hose reel.  And suddenly a family with twin girls approached me and started talking excitedly about the project.  “We just followed the yellow brick road, and there you were!” They told me they had started at the bench, and when I wasn’t there, they had followed the line down to the dock.  The two girls attend Lowell Elementary, and have watched my project from afar over the past 4 years.  One of the girls, Maya, started snapping photos of me on her brand new SLR camera, while the other girl, Dharma, asked if she could crank the handle of the hose reel for me.  The mom asked to carry my heavy purse, and the Dad helped carry the hose reel up the steps…Before I knew it, Dharma and Maya had pushed the hose reel and wound it up all the way to the top of the hill, looking proud and pleased to have helped me.  Dharma kept saying, “I just love to help people!”  The truth is stranger than fiction sometimes, and I grinned the whole way up the hill.  They even competed with each other for the chance to push the hose reel, all their muscles straining.  I felt a bit like Tom Sawyer enlisting Huck to paint his fence for him.  100_2175 July 16 2015 Maya and DharmaThe sun continued to set, and as Maya snapped pictures on her new camera, the mom said to me, “The sun is setting on your knitting, as my daughter’s photography has just begun.”  It was a spectacular sunset, a sort of neapolitan ice cream swirl that kept gathering more intensity in orange, purple and pink.  “That sunset is crazy!” I said, and Dharma chimed in, “Crazy beautiful!”100_2173 I felt suspended in time–very present and grounded, yet euphoric.  Full and satisfied, and in no rush for the moment to ever end.  We all kept saying how happy we were to have shared this unplanned experience together.  It was now 9:45, and Mom said “way past your bedtime girls, but this was a special occasion.”  Dharma and Maya gave me sweet hugs, and so did Mom, and we parted ways for the night.  I thought about how different the end of this project is from the beginning–back in 2012, I didn’t know a soul, and I knit all alone in a heavy black coat in the rain.  Now it’s July 16, 2015, and I’m surrounded by the community, your energy and support.  My heart overflows.


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