Each morning I receive a Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster. And today's word is fantastic!
Woolgathering once literally referred to the act of gathering loose tufts of wool that had gotten caught on bushes and fences as sheep passed by. As you might imagine, woolgathering was not the most profitable of enterprises; its practitioners must have seemed to wander aimlessly, gaining little for their efforts.
In the mid-16th century, woolgathering began to appear in figurative phrases such as "my wits went a woolgathering"—in other words, "my mind went wandering aimlessly." From there, it wasn't long before the word woolgathering came to suggest foolish or purposeless mind-wandering.
I'm guilty of woolgathering.
You can often find me "woolgathering" but with images of yarn, colors, patterns, and shapes, dancing thru my mind. I know that it looks like I'm spacing out. I've let you know about that in the past. But it's amazing what happens when you let your mind go and let the creativity starts to flow.
All's you need is a little inspiration to set whatever you've been dreaming about, in motion. And Mother Nature is always providing me with inspiration!
The people who drive along Hwy 89 near my house must think I've really gone off woolgathering! But I can't help it. There's so much inspiration to be found along my short 20 minute walk to work!
This morning, while walking to work, I stopped, turned around, and walked back to a clump of snow. The tire tracks were so intriguing to me! They were huge, and I couldn't figure out what made them. Did a logging truck weave off the road? Did a delivery truck decide to pull over here? I finally realized that it was one of our neighbors, on the street next to us, who has a tractor and has been clearing out the snow from their street. I remembered watching him the other morning, when my friend Jeff picked me up for a ride into work.
But it wasn't just the texture of the tire tracks that I loved. It was the colors of the mud and sticks and rocks that were mixed in there. The light and dark, the highlights and lowlights the mud created within the impression of the tire tracks.
I spent the rest of my walk thinking about what garment I want to create using the colorway Mother Nature provided me this morning. A scarf, a shawl, a facewarmer?
Yes a facewarmer!
That's because when I walk in the mornings, the only part of me that gets cold is my mouth and cheeks. Then, by the time I get to work, I always have to way until my face warms up before I start talking. Otherwise I sound like I've had a few too many!
So, my friends, "woolgathering" isn't a bad, foolish thing, but something good. A time to daydream, to let your creativity out and inspire you to create something new and wonderful.
Now I can't wait to see what you've created while woolgathering!