Notes from Windward: #61

The Women's Circle

Fern, Holly, Chang, Heather, Saravaw, Joyce and Gina
This year the women of Windward have been meeting weekly for a "Women's Circle." Our main purpose was to have a regular time and place to get together and discuss community issues such as integrating new people, the difficulties that comeup when someone leaves, and coordinating someone's outside work with responsibilities here, such as the kitchen, feeding pets while they're gone, etc. Like so much of what happens here, we started with a good idea, let it gestate without too much interference, and watched it turn out to be so much more.

Just about all the women of Windward are interested in some form of textile or fiber art: Holly sews, quilts, crochets and does cross-stitch, Fern crochets and knits (and was teaching Q to knit), Gina sews and is trying her hand at spindle spinning, Heather knows how to felt and learned to crochet (from Fern) last year, and I knit, spin, weave, embroider and sew. So most of us brought "handiwork" to that first meeting and now we're learning from each other, coming up with new projects, and filling in any down-time with those community discussions.

Women have come together in groups like ours throughout history, and they usually focused on a "home based" activity such as quilting, sewing, canning and preserving, spring cleaning, or even the weekly wash-day. The women probably talked about their families, asked for and gave advice, with the older women sharing their knowledge with the younger.

That's how the skills and traditions of women have passed from one generation to the next through the centuries. Now that this tradition has come full circle at Windward, we've christened our group the "Women's Circle."