Thursday, July 21, 2011

My daughter and I have been into nursery rhymes lately. Her fledgling reading skills are blossoming (excuse the mixed metaphor) with texts that rhyme and have predictable patterns and rhythms.

So as we were reading Mother Goose the other night, I stumbled over this rhyme, one I'd heard as a child but never really thought about before.

Draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin,
Take a cup,
And drink it up,
And call the neighbors in.

This isn't a fun rhyme to teach counting or a silly rhyme to make children laugh--this is emotional instruction! Coping skills passed down as a poem!

If you are feeling grouchy or overwhelmed,
Take some time for yourself,
Be comfortable and do something with your hands,
Have a cup of tea (or something stronger?!)
Then, open the door to company.

Mother Goose's version is, of course, more catchy.

Most knitters will agree that knitting can get them into a flow state, the same one experienced by athletes, or anyone engaged in something absorbing and enjoyable. And repetitive activities are proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. (Dr Oz says to choose doing the dishes over watching TV to wind down!)

I love the idea of women generations ago recognizing that solitude + spinning + tea = Serenity Now!

OK, fellow Crosspatches, do you find that your knitting or other handwork helps you to recharge?


GEB said...

Knitting is absolutely therapeutic, especially at the end of the day. For me it slows hectic, scattered thinking to a steady rhythm and disciplines the chaos of the day into calm, linear progression.

Kranenburg Family said...

I like this better than "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." So much more profound to examine the positive effects of meditative work versus the negative consequences of leisure.