For the holiday this year, we all agreed to keep to a budget. Under $50 or handmade. I was watching Martha one day and she had a guest who told the story of these Path to Peace baskets made by women in Rwanda. They are traditional African baskets, each with a different story and meaning revealed in the pattern of the weave. Available through Macy's, I gave one to each of the girls.
And I was so happy that each one was meaningful in its way for each daughter, who, like me, appreciates the makers- of craft, of peace, of beauty, of care, of hope, of community. The one above is the Patience basket- for Erin, a fundraiser for the Harvard School of Public Health.
This one is the Gorilla Footprint basket. Maggie has been keenly interested in the gorillas of the Congo since the 6th grade. Her teacher took the class on the El to the Lincoln Park Zoo twice weekly for a month where their studies centered on gorilla life. They sketched them, painted life-size portraits, journaled their activities, traced their ancestries, mapped their forests, calculated their weights and food needs, wrote poems about them.
And this one is the Spirit basket. Mo is a senior majoring in Sports Communication at Indiana University where the school colors are red and white. Spirit is certainly a fine word to describe our Mo.
I like the idea of a handmade basket as a gift- something carefully constructed with tradition ready to be filled, used and admired every day. These three held smaller, handmade gifts, but there was lots of room inside for Love and Hope too.
That's what I wish for in this new year. Baskets of Love, Hope and Peace for all of us.