So this final chapter brings me to a year and a half ago, when I picked up my carving knives after a five year absence, and the first doll to emerge was Evie.
If you read this blog, you know who Evie is. Evie came into my life through the work of my hands and my heart, and taught me about my strengths, weaknesses, and so much more. But the greatest gift Evie gave me was the knowledge that I didn't HAVE to have a "Hitty doll", but I could still have a small wooden doll who had all of the good characteristics of Hitty, with none of the negative aspects that had been foisted on her by the online commmunity. Suddenly I had a doll that meant the world to me--and she didn't cost thousands of dollars. She was not made to compete with anyone or anything else in this world. She was not tainted by jealousy, anger, or obsessive desire. There was NOTHING about her that had been touched by the angry and cruel online Hitty world. She was, and is, simply Evie. She changed my life in so many ways.
I believed I would never carve another doll to equal Evie, but that was okay. For the first time in all the years of doll collecting, I was perfectly contented. I had no desire to own other dolls. It took me a while to realize that, as old habits die hard--I still bought a doll now and then. But they were just dolls.
Did I still think of Hitty? Sometimes. But it no longer made me sad, it was just someone I knew in the past.
Then, in January of this year, Hitty roared back into my life in a way I could not have foreseen.
While emptying out an old cabinet, I found a partially carved doll who had somehow ended up way in the back, and was forgotten for 12 or more years. Now, I KNEW this was Hitty, because I knew she was cherry wood, and I had purchased the blank from Judy Brown well over a dozen years ago. I started to carve her, and stopped--and she lay there, forgotten and unfinished, all these years. When I found her, I was startled--first because I had forgotten all about her, and second because she was in a cabinet where I NEVER put my carving. I still do not know how she ended up there. But there she was, and as I held her in my hand I thought, "I see someone there"...........
Well it wasn't too many more days before I dropped everything else I was doing and finished this doll. To my great surprise, I knew when she was in progress that she was the best I had made since Evie, and that is saying a lot--because I had carved 25 or more dolls since Evie, and none of them seemed special to me. Then came the dilemma--yes, she was Hitty. No, she COULDN'T be Hitty. Well, she LOOKED like Hitty--sort of. But my mind wouldn't go past that.
So Winter Treasure was born. She is not what most people would call pretty, but she has a huge presence. She radiates serenity. Although she was intended to be a Hitty doll long before she came to me, she was also wise enough to hide from me all those years that I couldn't even stand the name. Had I found her sooner, I know without a doubt I would not have finished her--she would have gone in the box with all my discards, never to be seen again.
Some may look at her, and call her Hitty--to me, that is just a name, and certainly not who she is. Like Evie, she has taught me about life and about this soft bag of skin I call "me", and all without speaking a word. Her serenity has seeped into my life and affected it deeply, and I am truly contented--with two simple, little wooden dolls that didn't cost more than a few dollars and lots of love. THAT is the cost of contentment in my world. The secret to having it all is believing you already do.
I hope everyone who reads this finds that balance in their own life. You don't have to look for it--it's there, and will find you when the time is right. Just believe.