By Carole (craftnut)
Aside from the obvious sewing reference, do you know that there are many definitions to this phrase?
To some it means to tread a fine line between opposing viewpoints.
To the racing enthusiast, it means to squeeze between two competitors and gain the lead.
It is a yoga pose to stretch the shoulders and back.
For the equestrian, it is a drill maneuver on horseback.
Taking a boat or ship between Passage Island and Blake Point on Lake Superior is referred to as “threading the needle” due to the dangerous conditions in early winter.
In football, the quarterback is said to ‘thread the needle’ by completing a pass with several defenders around the receiver.
In older folklore dances, it is a move where a couple holding hands creates an arch that other couples go under, then hold their hands up continuing the arch for more couples to pass.
If you enjoy river rafting, you can visit Thread the Needle on a pool of water on New River Gorge in West Virginia. It lies between Millers Folly and Fayette Station Rapids where two large boulders create a rapid water area.
It seems that most of the definitions reference going through a tight space with obstacles on either side. Sometimes those obstacles are figurative, sometimes real enough to cause physical injury.
I like to hike around the mountains here in Western North Carolina. It is a love of the mountains that began when I was growing up. It seems that there are spots on some trails where it seems to thread a needle, between the hill on one side and a ravine in the other. I remember one summer when I was a kid, camping in the mountains with my family, and exploring the wilderness. I remember a particular trail that led to a waterfall. If you were careful, and threaded the needle, you could squeeze between the water and the rock face to get to a shallow cave behind the falls. It was magical standing in that cave, with the sunlight coming through the falling water, and rainbows in the spray. The humid air was cool and there was an earthy aroma of moss and peat. The rush of water created a soothing sound. It was a delight to the senses, and I didn’t want to leave. There was a sense of being part of the world, a piece of something more whole and greater. To paraphrase John Muir, it was a time when I felt in the world, not just on it.
Maybe today is the day to get out and thread a needle of your own. Go hiking, river rafting, dancing, horseback riding, rock climbing, take a yoga class or just take a walk. Here are some guides to help you get out of the house.
The 10 Best of Everything National Parks – 800 Top Picks From Parks Coast to Coast, National Geographic
Essential Guide to Hiking in the United States by Charles Cook
National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States, National Geographic Society
New River Gorge Trail Guide by Steve Cater
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson