Yes, it's the fox again! And I am compelled to tell you HIS complete story! I jokingly call this the "woo-woo" factor of a rug! And though I laugh about it, I honestly believe, that sometimes our work takes on a life of its own. And by the way, I live in Eugene, Oregon, and I own at least one pair of Birkenstocks, ok, maybe two.
It was last spring, the eve before my husband's scheduled day surgery. Like any good rug hooker, I was packing my traveling frame and hooking project to have with me during the day while I waited at the hospital. I had two new designs I could hook, one called All Seasons Squirrel (it's still waiting to get hooked) or the Cozy Fox. I decided the color plan for the fox was the most straight forward, so I cut some wool and packed my bag. I admit I was a little hesitant beginning a whole new design, away from my wool stash, but I figured, it was just for the day....I'd be fine!
That next morning once at the hospital, my husband was ushered into the pre-surgery area, while I was told to wait until they called me back as well. I sat near a window so I had good light, had hot tea in my thermos, unpacked, and began hooking. I had barely begun, having hooked maybe a few strips establishing the chin line of the fox, when I was called back to join my husband.
As I sat down near my husband's bed, the wonderful nurse (all nurses are wonderful in my book) curiously asked what I was working on. I showed her and she exclaimed how SHE adored foxes, and that she had a statue of a sleeping fox in her backyard. I love it when people get excited about what they love. I continued to hook, and we continued to wait. I was glad to have my hooking. I wished the curtain partitions on either side of us were as good at blocking out sound as they were at blocking out sight.
The next nurse came in, checking on my husband in some other way. She looked at my work and commented, "Wow, a fox! Did you know, that your surgeon, Dr S. likes foxes so much that his son's middle name is Fox." Hmmm, I thought, interesting. She left and so we continued to wait.
People were coming and going, I could see from where I was sitting, on the board, behind the nurses station, that my husband's time to get wheeled out was getting closer. Then an elderly couple walked past us, going to the partitioned curtain area next to us. I thought it was nice that they allowed them both to come in together, he was walking with a cane and seemed happy for her support. I continued to hook, as my husband was dozing, and I tried not to eavesdrop on others' privacy.
And then I heard it. I sat straight up in my chair, thinking, no, I'm not hearing right. I looked up to the nurses station to that board, and saw a couple names written below my husband's name....and there it was, three letters plain as day! And I heard the nurse's voice again, sweetly asking MR. FOX some routine admittance question. People!!! Did you hear me?! That lovely elderly man's name was Mr.Fox!!! I could dismiss the first fox statue comment, and even the second one about the surgeon's son's middle name of Fox. But the third encounter, a Mr Fox?! Ok, Universe. I'm listening!
Later, when I shared this story with someone I was told, that in Celtic folklore, foxes are known for leading others into the spirit world. I like to think that the fox was there as a protector that day. Since that experience, I've often wondered what would have happened if I had brought the squirrel pattern with me instead of the fox.
So tell me, do we choose the art and create beauty, or does the art choose us?