Our family experienced a sad ending to 2011 yesterday with the news that a friend had passed away after suffering a head injury. While praying for his family and thinking of them throughout the day, I pondered whether we should go ahead and attend a New Year's Eve party at the home of friends. My husband and I discussed it and decided to go; the hosts are also connected to the friend, and it seemed right to gather with them. First we shared our grief; then we ate, played games and welcomed in the new year. At the end of the evening, we agreed that it had been comforting to share that evening with one another.
Spending time with friends can be a huge comfort and restorative. So can working with our hands. I turn to beading often when I'm feeling worried, hurt, unsettled. . . As a writer, I've often thought that some of my best work came out of times when I was experiencing angst, and I feel that way about beading, too. I've created some very special pieces for friends going through troubled times, as a way to reach out to them. The gesture of presenting them with a handmade gift makes me feel useful and helpful when I don't see another hands-on way to help lift their burden a little.
Does beading have this restorative effect for you, too?