Recently, I've had the urge to minimize, in all areas of my life. Cleaning closets, cupboards and storage sheds give me immense satisfaction; I feel much lighter, far more in control when I have taken the detritus from the past, looked, remembered and then let them go.
Sometimes it can be painful. Then there can be joy, as well, as when a small hooded sweater, one that would fit a newborn, falls at my feet...and I remember my babies, both of whom wore the unbelievably soft pale pink garment.
When I kept it, I thought my grandchildren, if they were girls, would keep warm and cosy in it; I honestly believed this, when I was a young mother. How could anyone not want their newborn baby wrapped in this beautiful little outfit?
There were many such sweaters. But this pink one...the colour of it, the softness, the type of knit...a Mother's love was encapsulated within the very woollen texture of it. My love.
Heidi was the first to wear it. Her beautiful blue eyes peeked through the frill of wool, with grave wonder and such interest in the World she found herself in. Heidi was one of most aware babies I have known; her son is very much the same as she, in that he must know what is going on around him.
She grew out of it very quickly, and I mourned as I placed it for safekeeping. No other piece of clothing she had was as soft as this one, this delicate wisp of sweet pink.
I wrapped it carefully in tissue paper. I took great care with it, each time we moved, to keep it safe.
Katrina was the second baby that wore the thistledown pink sweater. Her deep brown eyes watched and accepted the World, through the frill of pink. She was the most peaceful baby I have known, filled with serenity. When she wore the sweater, she would send me the greatest consistently amiable energy; when I held her, my heart would fill...she had the ability to calm any agitation I might have had. This gift would sustain others, for the rest of her short life.
The sweater was again wrapped, after I could no longer squeeze her into it. But it was wrapped rather hurriedly this time; I knew I could have no more children. The Big C took care of my feminine organs; life was harried and very, very full.
Bree came along. I still had the pink sweater, wrapped in yellowed tissue paper. But it was twenty years later. Fashions had changed. And my lovely pink sweater was no longer as pristine as the new fashions...the new sweaters Bree received. And Katrina needed to find her own pink sweater for Bree...one that was infused with a Mother's love. Her love.
But I kept it, and Bree used it to dress her dolls. She chose the pink sweater for her favourite doll; when she held it, I knew deep inside she was feeling that warm, loving energy emanating from the wool.
I packed up Bree's toys when I moved; I found the pink sweater, still wrapped around her doll. She had long grown out of playing with baby dolls; her interests now were centred around sports and hobbies more suited to her age.
I donated the doll; I kept the pink sweater, not so carefully this time. But as I rubbed it against my cheek, the loving energy once more engulfed me; I could not consign it to the rag bin. I took that piece of my life with me, once again...to help me meet the huge Wave of change crashing down upon me with strength and grace.
And then, Graydon came along, bursting upon our family, filled with masculine energy. Certainly he had no need for a tattered pink sweater. But as I hold him, sometimes I visualize my babies wrapped in a swath of pink...and I feel, once again, that pure loving energy...a Grandmother's love. My love.
When it fell against my feet, as I searched through the bag of memories, I picked it up and brushed it off and felt the warm, pink softness, piercing my heart like a true and sure arrow of love.
And in a flash, I had a vision of soft, pure feminine energy...an ethereal wisp of energy. I saw blond curls...I was given a glimpse of a gentle soul...one, I realized, that has yet to appear.
I understood, suddenly, that the pink sweater still has a purpose, as I held it gently in my hands.
This time, I placed it near me in my office. I make sure to give as much respect as I can muster for this tattered piece of pink, this object that has collected my past, and kept the best of the whole.
Minimizing is great. But some things...the ones infused with pieces of my soul...those are the ones that are given a place of honour. They are my talismans.
The Pink Sweater surely belongs amongst them.