I’ve been schlepping our suitcase of crafty goodness around for a couple of years now. Glue, paper, and glue encrusted scissors are my weapons of choice. Sure we usually have a project and craft goal in mind, but it’s much, much more. While I’ve heard crafts being described as “busy work”, “useless” or “silly”, I keep plugging away. Sometimes I get a little craft gloomy, however this week I was reminded of why we keep creating together, as a community.
I attended a local art group to promote DIY Studio and was happy to see a familiar face. I remember meeting this lovely lady about a year before with her head wrapped in a stylish scarf. I’d see her off and on, and since moving venues for the community craft night, I hadn’t seen her again. But here she was. She was a little altered with a full head of lovely hair, however her kind smile and shinning eyes were the same. I walked up to say hi and she shared her experience with me. She let me know that she looked forward to our monthly craft nights because it was the one thing she could come to while ill that made her feel creative without feeling exhausted. Our craft nights got her out of the house and made her feel accomplished. It was a bright time when she was sick. I had tears in my eyes while she thanked me. And yet I felt such gratitude to her for sharing her story.
I got to thinking how many wonderful people I have met during these nights. How many stories have been shared and how many tidbits of wisdom I have gleaned. Although we enter the room as strangers we leave with a sense of community, of fellowship, of understanding. While our hands keep busy, our hearts open, and our voices chirp in happy conversation. We ohh and ahh, and cheer lead. We show off and ask for help. We all clean up together and leave with our little creations. These tokens are reminders of our community experience. For it is not the craft that is important, but the shared experience that nourishes the soul. And it truly warms my heart.
Below are pictures from our last Creative Reuse Craft Night: Paper Flowers. Join us each month for a new activity and community, every 4th Tuesday at the Salem Public Library. I’d love to meet you!