harvesting wool

Photo from The Makers. Profile on Jenny Gordy of Wiksten

 I have a daydream. It's about a passed down tradition shared by multiple generations. Something "your mother learned, from her mother, who learned it from her father." Yeah...one of those traditions.

I never had a close relationship with any of my grandparents. For a girl so in love with roots and connection/appreciation of our past, it's an odd occurance and something I've somewhat yearned for. But traditions are meant to be made yes?

This non-tactile idea of a tactile experience is something that pulls at me, wondering...what tradition will I pass on? What will I teach my children, so that their children and their children's children will have an art, a hobby, a skill, a story that connects them to their roots? That they can feel started somewhere that their blood understands. Nothing forced upon anyone, but something that's appreciated in its own special way.

I was watching an episode of "Man Shops Globe" some time ago and in the episode he was visiting a woman whose family had been potters for generations. I could only imagine the first time that she sat down at the potters wheel with her mother or father or aunt or uncle or whomever it was, and felt her first touch of wet clay. What was she told when the wheel began to spin? Could she feel the history in the movements she was about to make? Was it instinctive or was it taught through gentle urgings?

I imagine a boy walking down a foggy lane, in the hazy light of 6am with his grandfather as they headed out to the sheep. Each with a name, they would stroke each one as the next generation was shown how to strongly, yet gently remove the excess wool and how to make something from it.

I imagine a little old woman wearing her very worn-in apron rolling out fresh pasta dough just as her grandmother taught her. As she rolls out the dough she can still feel her grandmother's hands showing her the exact pressure needed to make it just thin enough but not too thin. And for a second she can almost smell her grandmother's perfume.

What will we pass down to those who come after us? Whether it be movement, thought or sense. What will they remember? What do we want them to?