Never underestimate the curiosity of a child. I was reminded of this while doing a weaving demonstration at the Red River Parish Fair yesterday. My booth was set up to show people how to weave, and that there are a number of things you can use for looms. I went from a small 4” pin loom to a triangle loom to a child’s potholder loom, and even demonstrated that you can use a hula hoop for a loom.
Meet my new weaving buddy, Nehemiah. He took one look at the 4-harness loom and his curiosity went wild. I watched him for a few moments before I approached. He walked slowly around the loom, studying it intensely, stopping every now and then to get a closer look at one part or another. He seemed to be trying to figure out what it was and how it worked. I couldn’t stand it any longer. I walked over and sat him down in the chair. I explained what it was and showed him how to manipulate the treadles and throw the shuttle. To my amazement, he took to it in a matter of seconds, and wove a good inch or two with very little problem.
Nehemiah just served to prove something I have always believed. Children are curious by nature, and truly want to learn, especially if it is something new and different. We as adults need to nurture that desire and take the time to teach them. I am not sure how you learned some of the skills you know today, but I am willing to bet at least a few of them were taught to you by an older relative, neighbor or friend. And you don’t have to be a child to have a mentor. I am sure by Nehemiah’s standards, I am an old lady (even if I don’t think of myself that way). But I frequently go to some of my elders to learn a new skill. In the next couple of weeks, I will be asking my friend Lorea’s mother to teach me the basics of crochet. At the next Farm Women’s Exchange, Kathleen will be teaching us to crochet hats, which gives me the opportunity to put what I learned into practice. And I will do my best to honor the tradition by teaching other people the skills that I have.
Do yourself a favor and be willing to be a mentor to someone. Allow someone else to pay that favor forward by being mentored. You will be amazed at how broad your horizons will become. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn something new?
Thank you, Nehemiah, for allowing me to teach you something new, and for reminding me to always be willing to teach the curious. You can come weave with me anytime you want. And if you want to learn how to weave on that hula hoop, just let me know.