Repost: A Basket Full of Comfort

Reposted from October 3, 2023

Heritage has at its core the word inheritance, an allotted portion.

For each of us, this includes the chromosomal inheritance of our biology. This means my hazel eyes and Welsh fair skin were allotted to me by my parents. More than the acquired biology it is the history, language, music, and perspective we use to interact with our current circumstances.

As with any inheritance, it holds pieces of the past that will move into the future. Each person must decide how they will take these pieces and make them functional in their world. There are considerations of ethical use and conservation of tradition, and how they can combine with new learning. As pointed out by Erich Hatala Matthes, in the Stanford Review, there are personal and impersonal considerations in the uses of heritage.

There are times that looking into the heritage and history of our culture is painful. It can carry shame, regret, and sadness.

And it can also carry comfort.  In my case, a small basket full of comfort. Yarn and needles clicking and weaving. My legacy is  small. It is the craft of knitting. I learned sitting with my Gran, my mom, and other women-folk of my family.  The quiet language of knit and purl. The rhythm and click of needles. The passing of knowledge and stories. The quiet learning of creating utilitarian objects filled with love. Considering the recipient of the object as the work is birthed from the needles.

Mom and Gran are long since gone.  When I knit my thoughts, as usual, are of the recipient.  And also of my Mom and Gran who bequeathed this creative, loving heritage to me, and of my own children to whom I pass this inheritance.

~Anna Elliott

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