One summer night in 1858, a terrific rain fell.
The next morning the residents of Frankfort, Kentucky discovered
a vacant lot covered with knitting needles - each needle stuck straight
into the ground as if placed there by hand. No one could explain
where the needles had come from.
Some folks looked at the needles, cried out
in fright, and ran. They believed the needles signified the end
of the world was at hand. Others looked at the needles, pulled some
from the ground, examined them, and concluded, "We could knit
with these." They carried needles away by the basket loads.
I've thought about this brief tale now and then
for well over a year. I ran across it at the Kentucky Department
for Libraries and Archives when I read the Franklin County files
of the Writers Project American Life Series compiled during the
Great Depression. Miss Elizabeth Hendrick, the worker with the Writers
Project, heard the story from Mr. Frank Hutchinson, a man about
eighty years old. Mr. Hutchinson said folks talked about the shower
of needles for over half a century. He guessed that even as late
as the 1930's some of the needles were most likely still in use.
So why has the story returned to my thoughts?
Everyone saw the needles as coming from a source
that could not be explained. Some ran, certain the needles were
a curse. Others stayed, looked the situation over, and saw the needles
as a gift. Perhaps, even some who ran at first overcame their fear
and returned to receive the gift.
Is recognizing and accepting our talents as gifts,
not curses, a task we must master to live a successful life? To
not panic and run away from our abilities, especially if they prove
different than we imagined?
Indeed, I believe it is our task to accept
our gifts. But acceptance is not enough. We must then begin knitting
to see what we can create with the gifts we've received. Whatever
your gifts, may your knitting bring you great satisfaction.
Brief Bio: Mary
Hamilton has earned her living telling stories and pondering how
the art of storytelling works since 1983. Learn more about her
work at http://www.maryhamilton.info
back to top
Hamilton, Professional Storyteller
Springhill Road, Frankfort, KY 40601-9211