So many ways to share

The picture says it all.

Willing hands reach to tuck goodies into a basket destined for this weekend’s Annual, courtesy of Ottawa Olde Forge Rug Hooking Branch. The basket will grace a silent auction table, joining many other fine offerings.

Several will be containers like this one, packed full of lovingly-donated items that our guild members think a fellow hooker might appreciate.

I think that kind generosity is typical of rug hookers — maybe of all creative people. It’s abundant, often overflowing. I’ve experienced it myself, and seen it many times at branch meetings and other events where we gather.

It may surface when you’re grappling with something in a piece you’ve been agonizing over. Just ask, and someone has really useful advice to give. Or you’re encouraged to consult another nearby expert – or two, or three – who can help you work your way through the difficulty. In the five years that I’ve been with my branch, I’ve never been disappointed when I push pride and personal reserve aside to seek experienced guidance!

The support can come in other ways, too. People will stop by to rave about your design or colour choices, or slip you a hank of their latest sari silk ribbon or a bag of colourful worms in alternative fibre(s) that were left over from a recent endeavour. “I know you’ll find a place for these … because you often work in the non-traditional textures and fibres, right?”

It’s hard to put into words the lift these gestures bring, or the sense of freedom and acceptance you feel when you’re with fellow rug hookers. So I did what I frequently do when I need some elevated thoughts to bolster my theme: I went looking for an appropriate quote. And found these absolute gems:

Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness. — Dalai Lama

For it is in giving that we receive…— St. Francis of Assisi, from the Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Being thankful can be contagious

Working on the Annual over the past 18 months has exposed our planning committee members to generosity and strong mutual support in other ways, too. Lesley Larsen, our ball-of-energy leader, has shared (via email) these reflections:

“Beyond the learning and sharing that has contributed so strongly to my hooking, I’m particularly grateful for the friendships that never would have begun without my involvement in the 2018 Annual … I’ve met many remarkable people, and to come away with some deeper friendships is a gift that is not easy to come by.”

She raises the other ‘G’ word that has been forefront in my thoughts since I started to write this post: gratitude. It is sparked, over and over again, as a direct result of the kind of caring behaviour I’ve described. And it’s something I suspect we all feel when we experience that warmth and nurturing.

So one more amazing quote to ponder:

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.— Friedrich Nietzsche

Thank you, all; hope to see you in the Ottawa loop soon,
Marla, Content creator

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About ottawarughooking

Olde Forge Rug Hooking Branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada will, together with other branches in Area 1, co-host the 2018 Annual of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild.
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