The power on sharing what you know
Last night a good friend came over for dinner (we're spinning buddies—we met over looms in college eons ago). As we were chopping vegetables for the salad, we were talking about our latest projects.
I was describing how we hosted a demonstration day in the fiber arts classroom at the school where I volunteer. The kids each took charge of a station where they showed the younger kids essentially what they've been working on all semester in the classroom. The younger kids came through the classroom in small groups and, at each station, the older kids showed them the recently shorn alpacas from the farm, how to dye a bit of yarn in the indigo vat, carding wool on handcards, knitting and crochet, spinning on a wheel, and gave them the chance to weave a bit of a scarf.
What really got to me was how, in the process of showing other people how to do these things, kids who had been a little aloof and disengaged, were suddenly more present. They were taking delight in the enthusiasm of the little kids and taking time to show them what wool fibers look like under a microscope, how to treadle the spinning wheel, or demonstrating the magic of indigo in the moment when it oxidizes.
It reminded me of when I get an email from an excited reader ready to share with the larger spinning community her excitement of a new spinning technique or way to card wool more efficiently.
Sure, we could do all these things in isolation—but the joy we derive by sharing what we learn makes the experiences so much more meaningful and lasting. We also get the pleasure of knowing that by sharing what we've learned, the possibility of these skills being passed on for future generations to enjoy is stronger.