|Sally, me, Danny, Sharon, Julie, Sharon, LaRose, Bonnie, and Becky|
It takes a village to do just about everything well… at least it does for me. I can imagine exceptions to this rule–social proclivities and introversions that make some people prefer to fly solo. I can imagine feeling undeserving of the support and love of your community. But something has happened in the last half decade for me… actually, since having children. I now think almost everything is made better by the web of connection we share with each other. Parenting is for sure. Parenting babies alone, in a vacuum, can be isolating to say the least. But reaching out and holding the hands of friends and neighbors makes it all more fun, easier.
I used to have friends over for playdates when my son was a young baby…around a year old. The mamas would talk and share and the babies would stagger around the back yard in that bewildered, toddling walk and investigate flowers and toys. Then bath time would come and we would throw all babies in the bath together. We would share the washing, the cleaning, the feeding, the diapers, wine, pajamas, organic broccoli puree, everything. That is when I learned about my village.
But in recent years and through my company, SUCH Designs, I have found many such villages everywhere I go. In fact, not just in my business, but in my whole life. I have a very lovely relationship with Fong, who is my postmaster at the post office. I see her many times a week. She is part of my web–my village. Our idle chat is a momentary flash of kindness and connection in my day. This sharing of life is deeply spiritual to me. If I could go so far as to make a big statement, I hope you will take it for what it is worth: I see the face of god in all of my relationships, big or small, enduring or fleeting. I see and learn more about whatever God is or means when my life overlaps with the lives of others. I put love out. I get love back. It is a simple math. 1+1=the abundant, radiant connection of a shared life. The more you give, the more you get.
This modern craft movement that we are all a part of is filled with that spirit of people seeking a village. We all love to get together to make stuff…to be near others and learn things as we create. It is in our bones to gather in such a way. It is an ancient, tribal urge. It feels really good. If you let it, your whole life begins to look like a sewing or painting class, a knitting circle, a yoga workshop….it spreads out and you see the divine connection in every relationship, all day long, everywhere. This feels like a sacred blessing to me. The only way I can describe is that it feels shimmering. It feels beautiful, connected, alive.
So, I have this new fabric line coming out in April with Windham Fabrics and many people volunteered to sew with it. I decided it would be fun to say yes to these women, many of whom I didn’t know well and others who had taken classes with me or heard my lectures at Bernina Connection of Arizona, my local shop. I emailed them all and held out my hands. Nine women gathered to sew.
|Danny and Sharon made a bag together in thirty minutes!|
Here is where the magic happened: I said to the group: “Hey, I designed this apron, and I’d like to make a few in my fabric, could you do that? And hey, I’d like to make some totes, and I brought along a pattern, but I’d rather just copy this cute purse I have. What do you think?” But their answers! They all had ideas, opinions, specific notions about construction. They all vetoed the sewing pattern in favor of forging their own trail. They worked like a team, each with her own unique ideas, yet willing to compromise. The made executive decisions. They collaborated. They all knew way more about sewing and construction than I do. Sewinistas are knowing, savvy, capable, creative, fearless and just totally badass in action!!! In about three hours we had four aprons and three totes done! They even wrote the full pattern for the apron as a free download. I named it The Village Apron (free pattern available soon) in honor of the village of wise women who swarmed around me and held my hand, and said, “I will. I can. Yes.” There are so many other beautiful women all over the country, who said the same thing and are busy sewing as I type. And I feel deeply grateful and humbled by all of that support. I feel amazed by how much willingness I feel from people…support. It feels weighty to me…not like pressure, just like a true honor.
So this post is a long-winded thank you note–and even a love letter–to my village…to all my villages and all my friends: You are awesome. You know I can’t do any of this alone. None of us can. And it is my honor to return the kindness to you when you ask. Thanks for holding my hand and doing it with me! You have no idea how much your friendship, sharing and connection means to me. It is much bigger than you and me. It is a wholeness of humanity woven from these relationships. The more we show up and open our hearts, the more our hearts are filled with love…and it begins to overflow and spill out and everything is soaked by that love. I am deeply grateful.