This week I set myself a sewing task. I can’t reveal what it is because it’s a/several Christmas present(s) for a small boy and a surprise for one of his parents too. (‘reminder to self’, must knit the scarf.) Enough to say I have been involved with wool and toy stuffing, felt and pompom making. Anybody better than me at blanket stitch? Anyway the point is I have been working to a deadline to get all the making up done before Saturday lunchtime. I’m two thirds the way there and when Christmas comes I’ll post photographs of what I’ve been working on. Probably only of interest to knitters and those who like cute stuff suitable for infants.
Working to a deadline has its merits; it keeps one focused, it keeps one working and it signals there is an end. But deadlines have their down-sides. Quality of work can suffer. Quality of mind can suffer. Quality of being present can suffer. In the service of a goal we can so easily loose sight of where we are with ourselves. Lose our sitting place.
For some reason, and I remember why now, I started to think of expectant mothers. The baby due date takes on a massive place in the lives of the parents to be. Each successive scan and check-up are way-markers; a deep sigh of relief for those who have cause to be anxious of results, another heart quickening moment of pride and joy for those who are in the clear. Phew, a moment to pause and think of the mum-to-be I am remembering, and for gran too. (I’m NOT thinking of the Queen either!) This is natures deadline, natures ticking clock.
Whether it is a deadline set by oneself as a skillful means to get a task done, or one set by somebody else to MAKE one get the task done! Or it’s simply nature’s deadline. It’s all the same in the end. While it would seem to be just me, a needle and a length of yarn who accomplish, there is in actual fact an interlinking cast of thousands contributing. When the goal is reached, the deadline met, there is a glow of pride, natural pride, in the achievement. Which is natural enough. However let’s remember the cast of thousands, just for a moment, just that will add a depth of quality to the work as well as bring us back to ourselves. In humility.