Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop

Images and text by Carter.

In the forest, wrapped up in time, Red Knit Cap Girl wonders about the moon. She climbs on the highest branch that teeters, but it’s still too far. She tries its reflection on the water, but realizes that’s not the same one beaming down from the sky. With the guidance of Owl and some loyal friends, she prepares to talk to the Moon. What seems like a celebratory idea turns out to be hiding what they are seeking. After all, the Moon is always there.

The unbridled curiosity of Red Knit Cap Girl reminded me of a truth in my world. Wondering walks closely with waiting. Waiting for something — to grow, to arrive, for news, or for change — is excruciating. Right? Maybe that something is a someone and maybe the waiting is tinged with wild anticipation. Or maybe heartache. Waiting feels like wondering without an answer. But maybe what we’re waiting for is there all along, like Red Knit Cap Girl’s Moon. That found magic is an extraordinary reminder of that to me.

Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop

Naoko Stoop’s inspiration for this story came after participating in Earth Hour, and the natural nightscape that was revealed once the lights were off. Maybe finding things when we aren’t necessarily looking is an accidental side effect of waiting. What do you think?

P.S. – Do you remember The Crows of Pearblossom? In both of these stories, our fearless protagonists seek the counsel of an Owl. How comforting, the links between stories and the sage, unwavering owl! I recently grabbed this owl print from the shop of a favorite illustrator, and he hangs over my workspace as a reminder of wondering and waiting and finding solace.

Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop