One of the highlights of my year is the first Sunday in May in which my daughter and a beloved friend of mine, all make the trek to Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I was on a very fixed budget this year, (hooray for free admission!!) and I really just felt more like be-ing there and not just observing or frantically searching for THE yarn and/or roving. I wanted to really look at the crafts of the local artisans, feel the yarn and enjoy the people. Mind you, I do this every year, but this time I wanted to practice being fully present. I didn't take a lot of pictures this year and the pictures that I did take were of the yarn. I did this in honor of my dear friend's father who I was missing. He passed away about three months ago and used to accompany on these types of treks. He was a photographer, among many other things, and took wonderful pictures of the yarn.
For me, one of the highlights of the festival is the ride there with my fellow fiber fanatic friend. She and I have had a standing date now for 4 years and although we tend to lose each other at the festival, the ride there is grand spent chatting, kvetching, and sharing hearts. When we get there, we wander a bit together, but inevitably end up doing our own thing, she being a more purposeful shopper and I being a meanderer who gets easily distracted.
I love to wander about the festival meeting the different folks, chatting with them about just anything. I love to listen to the Celtic and Bluegrass music and watch the cloggers dance. I love seeing all the creativity that floats throughout the fairgrounds and all but knocks you over from inspiration. I love watching the working dogs demonstrations and dream about being a shepherdess one day with my own flock and border collie along side of me. I walk around and I dream romantic dreams, knowing full well all the hard work and sweat that goes into the animals, weavings, yarn and other handcrafts there. And hard work, though it is, it is work that has evolved from passion and passion that turns into works of art or just plain useful items are always a good thing.