My creative spark ignited at the age of five.
My Finnish Nana peered over her spectacles. “Tracu (she couldn’t pronounce my name), you veddy to learn?”
My stomach fluttered with wings of anticipation. I leaned forward and nodded like the bobber on dad’s fishing line. I was eager, ready, and willing to accept the torch about to be passed on.
My mentor wagged a wrinkled finger. I squirmed on the nubby cushion on her pull-out sofa-bed, wedged behind the dresser in the smelly, moth ball, one room attic apartment.
A frown creased her brow. “First…you must never vaste time or throw nothing avay.” She pressed her palms on the rocking chair and rose. She marched, clicking her black-heeled boots along the linoleum floor. “I be vight back.”
I peeked around the dresser.
Nana lifted the glass lid off the coffee pot and laid it on the stove. The aroma of coffee grinds filled the air. She reached into the sink, yanked out eggshells, and her fist crunched the shells.
“Nana, what are you doing?”
She grabbed a handful of coffee grinds and with her other hand, she scooped up her shells, and strolled to the window ledge. “I need to feed dah plants.” She sprinkled her creation into the dark soil.
“I coming.” She sauntered back and settled down beside me. She dug around in her knitting bag and produced two, grey, steel needles. The points were sharp enough to inflict damage.
With the patience of Job, she began to teach me a skill she loved.
Determined to master the art of knitting, I endured the coil springs poking beneath the material on the sofa bed. The claws, digging into my backside. For hours, I gripped the metal needles and wrapped wool over, up, and under. “Knit one, oops, lost a stitch, purl one.”
Weeks later, I bound off the last stitch. My numb fingers held up my creation. Beaming, I shoved it in front of her nose. “Look, Nana. I finished my scarf.”
Okay, the edges of the multi-coloured scarf looked more like a car that had zigzagged from one side of the road to the other. But hey, I finished the race.
Nana, I know you’re looking down from above so I’ve dedicated my blog to you. I miss you.
I spent years mastering varied art forms: playing the piano, knitting, needlepoint, cross-stitching, drawing, quilting, basket weaving, painting, teaching, and designing.
Now I’m venturing out into the wacky world of writing and I would love it if my on-line friends would share the first time your creative spark ignited.