In Praise of Hobbies
On the weekend, I cleaned some heirloom tablecloths. Two had been beautifully embroidered, the other painted. After scrubbing and dubbing to get rid of the stains, they gave me joy as I hung them out in the sun. What pleasure they must have given to those who created them. I wondered on what could have been happening in their lives during their creation. Maybe there was war, or the Spanish Flu, or family tragedy as well as the good things that can fill our lives. There would have been times when their creators might have been bored, or troubled – or even challenged by the work. As I ironed one cloth, I noticed that the embroiderer had added pieces down both sides as the original material wasn’t wide enough. The seams were hidden beneath the embroidery. Clever.
We are made to create. Made in God’s image, we are made to create. There are times when we need to relax passively, like watching movies etc. or playing games but we have a deep need to engage in creation. To move in our world and engage with it. Surfing, golf, netball do so much for our mental and physical health. Creating things, especially beautiful things expand out spirit and ground us in the best of ourselves. A piece of woodwork, calligraphy, a garden we have created, some music we have played, or even composed invite us to stand back and affirm our goodness. Do not underestimate what such creativity can do for your emotional and spiritual health.
As you go through this week, notice what you do to refresh your spirit, how you create in your ordinary daily lives. There will possibly be things you are already do that are creative – you just hadn’t noticed them. Or there may be dreams you have wanted to fulfill that you have put off. Take up that instrument, pick up the pen or circular saw. Be what God has made you to be: a creator.
Loving God, you have created me and you have created me to create. Show me the ways I can live that creates beauty and gives joy. Let my life model a creative life to my child/ren. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb