Or are done by amazing people.
Two weeks ago we had nineteen people to our house for a family Chanukah party. The cooking was shared (my spouse refers to Chanukah as "the festival of fried things"), the cleanup was shared and everyone had a great time.
After the meal, the children in the family exchanged presents.
There was also a package with my name on it. As I started to protest that this was against the rules, I was told that it was something special from my oldest niece (she'll be twelve this year).
It turned out that she had knit me a hat. It was her first non-scarf project and it is perfect. It's the most beautiful shade of turquoise, fits beautifully and just happens to be the exact same colour as the turquoise flecks in the scarf that I wear every day. And it looks great on me.
Just that week, I had tried to knit myself a hat but there was something wrong with my yarn or the pattern and it hadn't worked out. Just that day, I had been thinking how much I love it when people knit things for me and that I wish it would happen more often.
I love that hat with a passion because it is perfect and because it was so thoughtfully and carefully made, just for me.
And I have another example of an amazing thing.
I have been feeling kind of down lately. Part post-NY and Chanukah let-down, part grief for my old life and part chemotherapy blues, I've been feeling the dogs of depression nipping at my ankles. I've been fighting them off (and figuring out how to be healthier) but it has been a bit of a struggle (and of course the sadness is compounded by the guilt of a recovering Catholic: "I should be ashamed to be feeling so sorry for myself when I have responded to treatment so well, have good insurance and such great support!").
Two days ago, I wrote about feeling uninspired.
Yesterday, a book appeared in my mailbox, bound with a ribbon, on which was written the following:
"I like reading your blog and I find inspiration from it. Here is a book for you, may it bring you inspiration."(It was from J., an artist friend, with whom I once worked closely and haven't seen in a long time. To think I inspire her means a great deal to me).
You know the expression "my heart lifted"? I now know exactly how that feels.
And how could she possibly have known that I have been scouring the Internet for patterns for knitted bags?
Sometimes, life is very hard. And it's not true that everything happens for a reason.
But sometimes, the right thing happens at exactly the right time. Or good people know to make good things happen.
The picture above was taken yesterday from the my spouse's downtown office window. Perhaps not the brightest woodpecker in the world, but I thought his appearance was pretty amazing, too.