Connections...

by Christina


Do you ever have those moments when you notice how everything is connected? Many of us walk around every day going from place to place in our usual routines providing us with structure and a sense of day-to-day rhythm. It's what we do and it feels right. Then, one day you look up and see something you've never seen before yet it feels familiar. And then, events unfold right before and you find connections you never knew existed.

I live in Iowa. A predominantly rural state with less than 3 million people and the majority of the residents live along the I-35 and I-80 corridors. Yet this relatively quiet state plays a vital role in the well-being of the rest of the country due to agriculture. This state is the leading producer of corn, pigs, chickens, eggs and rates right up there for soy.

My parents live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A land that is as diverse from Iowa as one can possibly fathom. Last week I had the chance to visit them. A walk with a long-time friend along the Rio Grande River revealed a trail system I had not previously explored. I kept walking passed trail signs indicating to whom the trails were dedicated, Aldo Leopold

Now this name seemed awfully familiar...on campus we have the "Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture." Could it be the same Leopold? If so, what could possibly be the connection? 

Yes, it is the same Aldo Leopold and I can't believe what I've learned about this man that relates to peace, nature and knitting. Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was born in Burlington, Iowa and attended the Yale University School of Forestry. He worked for the US Forest Service in Arizona and the New Mexico territories for many years and was then transferred to Wisconsin.

His passion was the land. He wrote and published over 500 works but is best known for his final collection of essays, A Sand County Almanac which has compared to Henry David Thoreau's Walden, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and the works of John Muir. In this work, Mr. Leopold defined a concept he coined known as "land ethic" which is a call for moral responsibility to the natural world. A land ethic is essentially caring about people, the land, and strengthening the relationships between the two. 

I feel as if I've stumbled upon a concept that captures the essence of knitting, walking and peace. Connecting people with the land and strengthening that relationship. We knit from the fleece of animals that live on the land; one stitch at a time we weave together that fiber into something incredible that brings joy to you, the knitter, or the recipient. We walk through the land and gain strength from the beauty that surrounds us. It is our responsibility to honor the land that we inhabit. The land nourishes us and for this we should be grateful.

 Along the Rio Grande River on the Aldo Leopold River Loop Trail.

Along the Rio Grande River on the Aldo Leopold River Loop Trail.

When I walk, my mind wanders. I look down far too often. Yes, for safety but many times I'm just in a daze. I'm glad I looked up on my walk and started to wonder about the connections between the Aldo Leopold trail in New Mexico and sustainable agriculture in Iowa. Who knew that there was the connection between a man from Iowa that left an incredible footprint both in Iowa as well as New Mexico. 

 An intriguing door to a New Mexico home

An intriguing door to a New Mexico home

Land ethic. How beautiful. It's our job to continue to honor the land where we live that feeds us, nourishes us, clothes us, and provides us with warmth and shelter. 

 A sign of spring on the desert

A sign of spring on the desert

Mindful Monday Tip #6.

Go for a walk today, long or short no matter. Take the time to look up and view your surroundings. What do you see? What's one thing you can do to strengthen your relationship with the land? Think about tredding lightly on trails, recycling, using less water, purchasing food that will be used and minimizing food waste...what ideas do you have?

 Peace from New Mexico. Notice the wooden lamb wearing a red scarf.

Peace from New Mexico. Notice the wooden lamb wearing a red scarf.

A give-away and upcoming events.

With any luck (and a lot of cooperation), I'll be releasing a new pattern that pulls together many concepts I've previously mentioned relating to peace, strength, direction, and courage. I can't wait for you to see it. Additionally, I've been working hard on several other new patterns that will be forthcoming within the month. Exciting times for peaceful knitters!

Next week I'll begin releasing something I've been working on for awhile. It pertains to purchasing "ethically-sourced" yarns. What does that mean you ask? Well, that's what I'm going to being revealing next week. I need your help. I have a question that I'd like you to answer. In return, I'll be giving away a limited edition Healthy Knitter project bag made from vintage fabric by my mum and I over many cups of tea last Christmas.

Leave a comment by the end of the day on February 12. If there are more than 50 comments, I'll give away a 2nd bag. I'll announce the winner(s) on Monday's blog post. Here's the question:

What is the most important factor that you consider when you buy yarn? Or what influences your decision most when you buy yarn (same thing just stated differently).