A wise 6 year old girl also known as me once said, “perseverance is hard work, that you keep trying and trying until you get it. Never give up, it's okay if you make a mistake. Because not only do you make mistakes, teachers and parents also make mistakes. And you learn from the mistakes.” This excerpt from my grade one English class is a reminder for me, and everyone else out there that it’s okay to keep going even if you make a mistake because nobody is ever going to perfect.
In the winter sessions, we learnt how to dye scarves using natural dye during Tamara’s workshops at Diamond Willow. At first, I didn’t know what to expect, could boiled veggies really produce color on the fabric? I’ve always been a fan of tie-dye and crafts so I was eager to learn about and attend these workshops. To summarize, We had many different options such as purple cabbage, yellow onion skins, red onion skins, avocado pits and more. There were also certain acids in which we could put our scarves in to produce a unique color. It felt as if I was doing an experiment in science class…like a lab. If we were to mix avocado pits with vinegar, what would the color become? It was quite intriguing and fascinating seeing the different shades of the same color produced by a couple drops of acid. As well as, there were many different pattern opportunities and unique ways to tie the scarves.
My envisions for my scarf were entirely different from what the result was. I imagined it to be a pretty vibrant electric blue and half yellow. However, it turned out to be dark green and autumn brown. But it looked pretty anyway. Which is a good illustration of how some mistakes can be pretty.
As I previously illustrated, everyone makes mistakes. Even though this project wasn’t completely a “mistake” or even purposely a mistake, I believe it still conveys the message that even the unexpected can open up great surprises. Or after the storm there’s a rainbow. The message was that even if it was unexpected, good things come out of it. Similarly in life, we all face the unexpected. Rainbow after the storm can act like a reminder as a sign of hope. To keep going. Everything gets better.
Additionally, these sessions taught us to use our recycling or waste and turn it into something beautiful. I was very intrigued to learn as part of my religion is not to waste anything, particularly food. One of the hadiths or verses from the Quran; our holy book states: “and do not waste: Indeed Allah does not like those who are wasteful” as stated in Surah Al’ Raf. Though we can’t consume food scraps, it still counts as food. And to use the scraps in a thoughtful way which can be used in different forms such as a scarf. Though this is mostly an indigenous based program, it was interesting to be able to tie my cultural beliefs into it as well.
Though these sessions were quite short; only the span of a weekend, and I only attended a day, I still learnt quite a lot. As Well as, I had a lot of fun. To me, these sessions are now all about community and friendship. A sense of togetherness. It’s like a second family. The connections I feel when we see each other whether that be after a while, or even a couple of days. The main message taken from these were just spending time with each other while we waited for the cabbage, onions and avocados to boil and waiting for our scarves to get the color. One could say bonding. Just laughing, talking and playing with the babies. It felt like an escape from life. From my busy schedule with soccer, taekwondo and essentially schoolwork. It was kind of like a chill and wind down. Just a break and relaxation from the hard work. Nothing too heavy in comparison to the fall sessions. Though it was pretty warm that day in comparison to actual winter, it reminded me of warm, cozy, and chill nights when it’s freezing. Snacks, food and warmth. Alongside hanging out, talking, and just making random crafts that are meant to be prototypes. Not sure how a butterfly could be a part of sculpture; but who knows because as I said, life’s unexpected.
That’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading my personal approach and reflection on the winter sessions. Thank you for reading.