This summer my Aunt Jan and I visited York, England and toured the amazing York Minster Abby. As we exited the church I was drawn by the music of a military brass band and a group of people gathered under the huge oak and elm trees in the gardens. Men dressed in all of the uniforms of the British armed forces stood as name upon name was announced and the band played on. The names were of men who had most recently been killed in service of their country. As I stood underneath the ancient trees and 800 year old Abby I could feel the timelessness of this tradition. Wars and men have been killing and dying for countless centuries and instead of stopping the conflicts we maintain these traditions of honouring the dead. As I watched and stood in silence and contemplation, a man dressed in a blue wrinkled suit listed towards the crowd, open wine bottle in hand, tears running down his face. Children ran around on the grass and a new wave of tourists entered into the Abby.
Today following a very disturbing American Presidential Election and in the throes of an upcoming Remembrance Day I grapple with how I can be and what I need to do to be true to myself and the life I want to live. For most of my life I wept every Remembrance Day, for the imagined horrors that war is. Today amidst the chaos I choose to contemplate peace and the wonders of a civilized country that we live in called Canada. This morning I woke to beautiful sunrise and my quiet home by Okanagan Lake. The birds sang, my family slept peacefully and I began considering more knitting.
Tonight I begin a Knit Along for a Cowichan Style sweater. I look forward to designing, creating and finishing a new sweater with a group of people who want to learn, and delve into an amazing tradition, The Cowichan Sweater. If you would like to join us we will be meeting Wednesday Evenings at 6:30 pm at The Twisted Purl Yarn Studio.
As I consider the world and the horrors that abound I have decided to make my life about how I would like the whole world to be. I care for my family, I garden so that I might honour myself and the earth. I create opportunities for community so that like-minded people can find a safe place to grow and learn. I make things from scratch, food, clothing, blankets and we build what we need to make our life work. I build and maintain new and old friendships, so that I can learn and find support in a sometimes stressful complicated world.
The concept “Personal is Political” has been a guiding principle for me since my childhood. So as I sit down to knit today I will be meditating on how making my life an example can impact the whole and possibly inspire just a few people. May you find peace and joy in your life this week and may the Remembrances be beautiful.