The Mindfulness of Mending
The Mindfulness of Mending
This weekend I tackled some things that needed mending. Things that need mending go in a pile, or are shoved in a bag; tucked out of the way and forgotten about for a while. To tend to them seems like a chore. I am annoyed with them for being broken or torn or having created a hole in themselves. To fix these things feels like an irritation, time I could be spending doing something more worthwhile.
Common culprits for me are tops. I have a massive aversion to labels in clothing, to the point where just cutting a label back isn't sufficient. So often, no matter how delicate I am with my unpicker, there is a hole in a new item of clothing. It turns out my children don't like labels either.
Yesterday afternoon I mended a top, a pair of silver sparkly tights belonging to my daughter, which were a present on her seventh birthday last month. They were fine until she started playing with one of our cats, Sid. So Sid made a hole in her tights but somehow I blame the tights. Next I swapped my thread to pink. My four year old son has a giant pink teddy called Big Pink Teddy. He won it at a charity event we went to last year. It is bigger than he is. The constant sitting, rolling and jumping on of Big Pink Teddy has caused one of his seams to split, poor Big Pink Teddy. So I stitch up the broken things, I don't mind, the kids are playing and the TV is on. With some satisfaction I put the needle and thread away and return the no longer damaged items to their places and carry on with my day in the knowledge that my mending is done, for a while at least.
This morning, my husband was taking the children to visit his parents nearby. I was getting a rare treat 'The House To Myself At The Weekend'. I thought of all the options that didn't involve work or housework (apart from doing the laundry, changing the bed sheets and cleaning the inside of the shower whilst having a shower). As my daughter, a vision in different shades of pink floated past me in the dining room on her Shopkins scooter I noticed the bobble was loose on her hat. On closer inspection, half the hat almost unravelled. I gently removed it from her head, the only non fully pink thing she had on, and replaced it with, yes, her pink one, promising to mend the other one while she was out.
So, once 'all of the things that needed doing' had been done and I finally had some time to myself, I put on an audiobook and sat down to mend the hat. I parked myself on the sofa and picked up the needle. A few stitches in I paused. I was in the moment of calm, of total tranquility. The sun was beaming through the bay window highlighting the house in a beautiful way. The room was quiet and my other cat Nancy had curled up next to me. I mended with intention, savouring each stitch, taking great pleasure in knotting the lost loops back together. So absorbed I was almost disappointed when it was done.
In future I will treat the mending pile with a little more respect and save it for a Sunday morning when I have the house to myself. I will even look forward to it.