Friday afternoon at the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat featured a field trip to Ewetopia Farm. The Crossmans breed Cotswolds, a rare breed of longwool sheep. Apparently the breed is also known for its friendly temperament. Max Crossman (left) brought out their champion ram, who deeply appreciated having his shoulders scratched by John Wise and myself. The farm had some lovely art yarn for sale. I purchased several skeins as a souvenir of the trip, hopefully to turn into a woven stole.
It has been an exciting and exhausting weekend so far. I took the introductory spinning workshop given by Aaron Bush (in the green shirt). Up until now I have been intimidated and thwarted by the eye-hand coordination involved in learning to spin. Today it started to click in. For about 15 minutes at the end of the workshop I actually fell into a relaxing, enjoyable rhythm. Now daily practice is required to fix it in place.
By the time we departed on our field trip I was ready to let someone else drive. I rolled down the window and enjoyed the picturesque New York countryside.
Joe Wilcox, who is also participating in the WordCount Blogathon, is here, too. In fact, he has organized these retreats ever since their inception. Joe is an outgoing, upbeat, funny person with remarkable skills to set the stage for an unforgettable social event. He is a community builder. The world needs more like him.
Can you hear my admiration? I value community, but have limited energy for organizing people. I am an introvert. Fortunately community needs many people to fill different roles. The challenge lies in learning to appreciate and value our differences. Extended social interaction can fray my nerves. At times the energy elevates me; at others it makes me feel vulnerable and agitated. I should honour my desire to move apart from time to time, go for a walk in the woods. Honouring one’s own temperament is key to fulfilling a role. I see myself as a kind of storyteller, needing time for reflection.
For you, what is the hardest part of being in community? How do you handle this challenge? What role makes best use of your gifts?
Friday evening we had show and tell. Most of the 41 men attending brought forward samples of their best knitted, woven and crocheted work from the past year. All received appreciative applause. It was marvellous to see such a diversity of creative output. It mirrored our diversity in community.