May 2023 Newsletter
“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we have lost our connection with ourselves.” - Andy Goldsworth
Out in the garden at last! Thanks to a friend who tends a colorful “Messy Garden,” I’m learning to love, not judge my own messy garden. The dandelion crop has thrived in the cold, wet northwest spring weather. Tulips and daffodils have lasted much longer than expected. The hollyhocks, which cannot be stopped from growing out of the cracks in the patio, are carrying on as usual. And now the sun is out! (Or is out as I write – as we know, it could be pouring by the time you read…) In the sun, the weld that self-seeded last year has grown a full 12 inches in two days. It isn’t called “Dyer’s Rocket” for nothing. Foxglove that self-seeded summer before last is growing at least a dozen healthy plants (randomly arranged), that promise to shoot up tall stalks of purple bell-shaped flowers later in the summer. There are blossoms on the two dwarf apple trees, and my little dwarf golden plum in the backyard has blossoms for the first time since it was planted, 4 years ago. We even watched a Rufous Hummingbird dipping his beak into the blueberry blossoms. Such a gift.
We have had temporary custody and care of a small dog for the past month. Some of you have met Mr. Shackleton on Zoom. In addition to practicing new skills like weaving or typing while he rests his head on my arm, I’m seeing more of my own neighborhood due to the non-negotiable two and sometimes three walks a day. A curiously bored hole in an old tree down the street has proved to be the new home of a pair of Flickers. The spreading sawdust on the ground shows just how deeply they are excavating into the cavity for their nest.
DH (Dear Husband) has been taking advantage of the nice weather to replace our front porch steps with a true landing and stairs with handrails on both sides. The “temporary steps” installed 30 years ago proved surprisingly resistant to demolition. Visitors to the studio and the Guild Library should be well pleased with the improvement. These should hold up for at least another 40 years, though it’s possible that the Guild Library will move to a new home before that time. (In 40 years, I will be 106, if I’m still around.) I hope to be reading, weaving, learning, and welcoming new weavers, spinners, knitters, felters, dyers… and gardeners too, for years to come.
Hope you all enjoy your spring activities, indoors or out!
2022-2023 President, Whatcom Weavers Guild
Ikat cloth. Bali
Inkle band made by Mae Bash
Shackleton learns about weaving
“The spiritual force in naturally dyed cloth is amazing. Sometimes people feel as if the cloth has a soul as if it is alive. To become a weaver, you must have great patience. You also have to be wholehearted in your work. If we weave cloth half-heartedly, the cloth will have no meaning for anyone looking at it. If we weave wholeheartedly, our cloth has soul and charisma.” -Madi Diavi, dyer and weaver in Bali, from the Touching the Ground documentary, 2021