It’s important in most world followings to have a generous spirit.
“God loves a cheerful giver.” (Christianity–my own faith path)
“Generosity brings joy at every stage of its expression.” (Buddhism)
“The best men in view of faith is the most openhanded.” (Islam)
I have little in the way of “first-world” measurements, but I’m rich by any other standard. I have friends and family who care about me, food, a roof over my head, clothing, and lots of yarn to knit. An abundance of riches are mine in many senses, even if my actual “liquid assets” are few. But because of this lack of cash-flow (aka, stupid little green pieces of paper), I’ve had to come up with some pretty creative ways to practice generosity in my spiritual and meditative practice.
I’ve put forth both the typical and atypical offerings–meals for those in need of them, transportation where I can help with it, food drives, volunteering time and talents where I can. But in my meditative practice, I wanted to use my knitting as a means of expressing generosity. I’ve often done baby caps or chemo caps (and have had family receive the same from generous knitters!) But I was looking for something a little different recently.
Enter: the Jayne hat.
Some of you will know what I mean…some need it explained.
There is a now-cancelled television show that had something of a cult following called Firefly. On it, there is a macho-man (near as I can tell) figure named Jayne Cobb, whose mother knits him a “pretty cunning” hat.
Yup. “Pretty cunning.”
Anyway, I have a friend named S. She knit this hat for someone in her life, but had extra yarn when she was done. Because she has a wool allergy (*SOB*), the hat was a labor of love, and the extra yarn pretty unnecessary in her stash. She decided to return the extra but alas; the store offered only credit for what the yarn had been clearanced out for, which was a pittance.
So, we made an arrangement. I have a friend (probably several are, but one in particular) who is MAD for Firefly, and I knew he’d love a “pretty cunning” cap of his own. His wife, K, is a cancer warrior of some renown in my world–she’s kind of my hero, in the sense that she approaches all of life with grace and integrity in the face of enormous adversities. S and I decided that I would “buy” the yarn from her by making a donation to the American Cancer Society in K’s name, and make her husband a “pretty cunning” hat with the yarn.
Hence, my own interpretation of the “Jayne Hat.” If I were to do it again, I’d perhaps change how I did the earflaps, but in all I’m hoping my friend will like it.
Most importantly, in it I have meditatively knit healing thoughts for K. I’ve meditated on blessing K & D’s marriage with love and strength. I’ve meditated on blessing D with a partner’s patience for his wife, as her spouse and as her support. And I’ve meditated on their love, and how grateful I am that they can be an example for others in what loving care is.
And in so meditating, I have found blessing myself, in terms of peace and strength and joy for today: “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”