When I was in middle school, I scoured the public library shelves like they were my personal entertainment factory. So many books made an impact on me, that even years later, I still find my mind drifting to those characters and worlds. Somehow those books have even more relevance for me now than they did then.
One was Catrin in Wales. Oh, what a beautiful book about a young woman setting off on her own adventure. She goes to Wales, becomes the caretaker of a priory, makes friends, and falls in love. It took me a long time to find this book again, I remembered the title wrong and so whenever I googled it I couldn’t find it. Finally, there it was, and I ordered a used copy to live on my bookshelf.
I certainly could have imagined that I would travel to Wales one day to live when I was a middle-schooler reading that book, but I never thought it would really happen. Yet here I am, with a flat reserved in a Welsh town for all of spring semester.
I decided to knit this special red shawl to be my Wales shawl, to keep me warm and cozy in the (shudder) cold, Welsh winter. It’s been the perfect way to prepare my mind for the trip. Each time I work on it the texture of the yarn sliding through my fingers soothes the anxiety I feel about living abroad for almost a year, and helps me imagine the happy memories I’ll create in this new place.
I feel like Catrin setting off on her adventure.