Parenting Green: Repairing and Connecting to Our Communities


There is a sentiment of resiliency and connection to our community when we participate in sustainable practices…

Every time I walk into a home and see the paper cuts of Nikki Mcclure’s work hanging on a wall or a page of her calendar looking back at me, I’m reminded of the sweet work that it is being human. I’m immediately flooded with ideas of repairing, reusing and reclaiming our creative heritage. Inspired to pick up thread and attend to the basket of mending that covers my worktable. Days and weeks go by, and now that basket has been demoted to the closet, almost forgotten about. Within are the possibilities of new outfits, stockings, and pants, so long forgotten when they reappear mended, that it will feel like a new wardrobe. How is it then that I feel the need to go shopping instead?…

For the past few weeks I had been riding my bike with less than stellar break capacity. The cords connecting the brake pads to the handle bar were sagging, and the pads weren’t making contact with the rim, and things were just loose and crummy. The more I ignored the problem, the bigger it seemed to become and I felt I would be putting my bike to rest or trading it in. Thinking it was out of my capacity to fix, I was tempted to just drop it off at the bike shop, but the promise of a hefty repair bill slowed my process to repair.

Finally, I could make it on a Saturday morning to the Pedal People’s free bike lab on Northern Ave in Northampton. Ruthy assessed what was going on, talked me through the issues, handed me tools, and guided me through the repair. It took all of ½ hour and my bike was good as new.. and I had fixed it myself… and walked away with the knowledge to tweak things on the road!

There is a sentiment of resiliency and connection to our community when we participate in sustainable practices. Recently, my family got into a repair project when a board of our picnic table rotted. Everyone was involved to some degree, from our son breaking the end of the rotten board off rendering our table unusable, to my husband cutting the wood down to size, me offering some sanding, my other son putting on goggles and other gear to be on the scene, and my daughter clad in rain boots applying sealer. We all felt a sense of pride with the end product (which turned out to be a completely new table as many more rotten pieces were uncovered in the process!). Besides a lovely new table, empowerment and connection to each other was imparted.

When we are steeped in the simplicity of being a creative being, we are inspired to do things to live in harmony with our Earth and communities. It’s a great way to awaken with a rich heart. I hope it ignites the same for your family, even in subtle ways.

Angie Gregory settled in the Western MA 6 years ago after many years of traveling the country. She lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and three kids and is an avid gardener and studies herbal medicine. She has worked in the community fostering projects like Grow Food Northampton and started Mother Herb Diaper Service out of her home after the birth of her second child. Her business is now a cooperative venture 
and has relocated to Holyoke, MA under the name of Simple Diaper & Linen.

[Photo credit: (cc) Auntie G]

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