Each year, for part of my set of Christmas Tree ornaments, I slice and dry a lemon, an orange, and a lime. I’ve been doing it now for 10+ years. I love the slight fragrance that comes with them. I love the way the sun shines through them. I love the way my kids have adopted the approach in their adult lives. I love the simplicity.
Each year, when I take down my Christmas Tree, a part of me wonders what to do with the dried slices. Put them in the garbage, with a bit of extra thanks? Put them in the compost bin? Save them for use next year? The colors do tend to brown over time.
This year, I repurposed them to a bit of art in my back yard. I love the look of the spiral. I love the color that rises forth from the resting winter ground. I love repurposing something, whether it be to art, or to some other form of use.
Now, I’m not a keeper of everything. There are some things that just go with my mostly silent thanks — “you’ve been good to me, thank you, good bye.” And who knows, with this citrus spiral, I’m curious what creatures might repurpose my art for their needs. A Robin creating a spring nest? A Raven delighting in yet another shiny thing? A mouse adding to its den?
For today, I’m glad to pause in the ease of making something beautiful in a surprise or unique circumstance, with something that I already had.
Repurposing. Because I can. Because I want to.
There are many things that many of us repurpose in our lives. I can feel in me the way that my Grandfather saved nuts, bolts, screws, and blocks of wood with intent to use them along the way. He grew up in the 1920s-1930s with added need for creativity. I can feel in me the way that my Uncle Frank found creative ways to use food so that none would be wasted. He grew up in a simple home in a simple and small Alberta town that relied on its gardens as much as its grocery store.
Repurposing. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I appreciate the interruption of “consume…throw away” that so defines contemporary life. Because I appreciate an overarching spirit of creativity, be it in families or in the teams I get to work with.
Well in all of that spirit, I found myself journalling these words.
To create meaning.
To welcome the simple
of this now
lived among others.
Repurposing. For the simple. For the day. Sometimes for the mere art and present moment of it.