A pile of alpaca fleece and some hand carders might not be your idea of an afternoon of fun, but I can’t think of anything more soothing than brushing a pile of fleece into cotton candy mounds of weightless fluff for hours on end, feeling the softness, imagining what it will all become, daydreaming and anticipating the next stage of the process.
We are an impatient lot, us modern people, and one of the key aspects of a simpler life is patience. Things take time. Bread needs time to rise. Fleece needs time to be worked on. Fruit and vegetables need time to grow. This needs planning, anticipation, work and an ability to wait. It is a hard characteristic to acquire if you have spent your formative years getting what you want instantly. It is a hard habit to break, to remember that instant gratification is not only unnatural, but infantile too.
So, step by step, with everything I do, I embrace this need to wait, this need to have patience and to work through the process. And I am enjoying the rhythm that homemade demands. I sit with these carders, with this fleece, or one similar to it, and we gather as a family as it happens. We get time to talk, to reflect, to quieten the mind and just be.
And we let the process force the pace. Just as it should.