Weaving is an ancient tradition that when we delve deep into the process will show us how to live mindfully as a part of Nature.
An Ancient Craft
Weaving is an ancient craft handed down from one generation to another without any cause for the need to write and record. The weaving process naturally synchronised with the seasons, collecting fibre and materials for dyeing as they came into season. Preparing ~ splitting, dyeing and storing the fibre ready for the weaving. The process ebbed and flowed with the seasons depending upon the nature of the location.
Weaving may have been a task that was required for producing much needed containers, in ancient times, but weaving was never a lone craft. Women would gather fibres together, prepare them together and weave them together and as they worked, they sang, told their stories, taught, shared and supported each other.
This is the essence of weaving. Like oral traditions, it was handed down. Shared freely.
And this is what has been missing from modern living; the place, the space where people could sit comfortably and BE together. A place where community and connections along with trust, acceptance, and sharing happen in a natural and nurturing way.
The Energy of Creation
Ancient Indigenous tradition and spiritual understanding worldwide have a commonality in the belief that all is One. Plants, animals, rocks, mountains, water, fire – everything has Spirit. In her book, ‘Braiding Seagrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific knowledge and the Teachings of Plants’, Robin Wall Kimmerer describes how this understanding informs her life. Observe, listen, ask the plants and they will show you the answer to your question. It is essential for weavers to understand this ~ and if they don’t yet, they will soon, for the plants they are using know what they need and need to be heard in order to co-operate!
When you understand that the plants you are harvesting for fibre have a season, that there is a sustainable way to harvest it, then you are beginning to live in tune; in connection with the Spirit of One. Nature gives in abundance and when you receive, there is something that you can give back so that Nature in turn is nurtured; weeds cleared, space created for new growth, energy of a loving prayer offered.
I carefully cut the outside leaves, sure to not take the new growth. I clear the weeds that will otherwise suffocate the plant. I observe and feel the fibre to see if it is too dry and will break or if it is still too new and will later shrink if I use it now. I observe and listen to what it has to say to me.
Learning to weave with my heart in the loving place of connecting with the plants I am using has returned meaning to my life. I am learning to live the belief that I have always held; that all is One. Connecting this belief to reality and living that reality hasn’t been immediately obvious living in modern society, as we have lost the generational connections; the passing down of traditions and knowledge.
Nature is suffering and she has been treated badly. The loss of intergenerational of knowledge that shared how to listen and respond to its needs, is a huge part of this. Weaving together and sharing is a step towards finding this way again.
Weaving can be so much more than a craft. It can change us all for the good of the Earth and All.