This past summer I had the privilege of attending a walking and knitting retreat on Shetland, an island approximately 100 miles north of mainland Scotland. Traveling to Shetland had been a dream but to this day I'm not sure why I felt compelled to visit, all I can say is "I felt called." I had seen photos on Instagram of this magical land but never expected to fall in love with all things Shetland...the people, the landscapes, the sheep, the way of life. The retreat, created by Gudrun Johnston and Mary Jane Mucklestone was filled with walks, knitting classes and time to knit but it was so much more. It was a glimpse into the importance of knitting to the lives of the those living on Shetland. Knitting is more than a hobby, it's their livelihood, their family history, their heritage and their pride shines through every step (and stitch) of the way.
While on Shetland I asked Gudrun if she'd be willing to provide a peaceful tip. She really must have thought I was a bit crazy when I asked..."see, I'm trying to spread peace to knitters around the world in an attempt to create world peace." She graciously said "yes" for which I was and continue to be grateful. So, today's peace tip comes from Shetland and perhaps you'll begin to understand a bit about the attraction to Shetland.
Peace Tip #11 by Gudrun Johnston, The Shetland Trader
When considering what peace means to me personally I immediately think of my place of birth, Shetland. Although I didn’t spend the majority of my childhood there I have reconnected with Shetland over the last 12 years or so, after my parents retired back there. Since then I have been fortunate enough to spend long periods of time in the calming beauty of this landscape.
It is often a lengthy journey for me to get home seeing as I now live in the US. Planes, trains and boats can be involved (and unfortunately sometimes delays). But despite arriving travel weary it only takes a few moments for me to soak in my surroundings and immediately feel a deep sense of peace. There is something about the open landscape, with views as far as the eye can see, that provides the overworked brain an opportunity to breathe a big sigh of release.
I would like to share some images of Shetland with you and hope that they inspire you to get outside today and take a moment to connect with your surroundings. If you have the time then take a walk, if not then perhaps just step out into your yard/doorway/balcony and find a spot where you can just take a few deep breaths in an effort to unclutter your own head, even if only for a few seconds.
Peace be with you today. Enjoy your Sunday (or Snowday for some of us).