It’s Summertime…

“…and the living is easy.” Despite the lyrics of sweet Ella’s voice, living is UNeasy at this point in history. In the hiatus of this blog, our nation has exploded with a civil rights movement during a pandemic and fear escalates amid the rising temperatures. In attempt to flip the panic, let’s focus on today. June 19 is Juneteenth, “a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.” Our amazing neighbors at Elmira Equal Opportunity Program are hosting their 17th annual celebration with social distancing in mind.

Knitting “Nancy” and Me at Juneteenth, 2016

Traditionally, I attend this wonderful celebration and help teach attendees how to weave. The giant knitting “Nancy” that I commissioned to have built creates large tubing that can hold yoga balls. The process is a historic method of weaving, but the result is an interactive sculpture that guests help make. Once the tubing is long enough, the yoga balls offer a place to relax, bounce, and take in the scenery.

A Weaving Student in Process

I’ll have to miss the event this year, because I will be helping out with reference desk needs at The Annex (find out how the Southeast Steuben County Library is “Unbound, Online and in the Community” on the website for more details). But, YOU can go out and support the community effort. Follow this link to learn out how to honor this day in history with our local community. As we all learn how to talk about race and find a voice to discuss our nation’s legacy and how to improve upon it, I urge everyone to register for this Anti-Racism Training that is FREE and open to the general public through June 30. Although I claim to be able to step up and speak out against racial discrimination, I have found this training extremely beneficial to expand my awareness.

Ernie Davis Park

When you are at the Juneteenth Celebration, take a peek at the playground. That equipment is in need of some upgrades! If you have construction skills or are simply willing to volunteer your time to help in a community build at Ernie Davis Park, the location of Juneteenth, I encourage you to participate. The City of Elmira is working with Play by Design to install customized playground equipment. Come volunteer the week of July 7-12. Three daily shifts available: 8:00AM-12:00PM; 12:30PM-4:30PM; 5:00PM-8:30PM. This is a wonderful way to take action and cultivate the grounds for impressionable youth. You know, it’s all about being the part of change you want to see.

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice. Welcome the season’s change as we honor the memory of Retha Cazel. Retha passed on June 3, 2020. She was a cherished friend, mentor, and instructor to so many yoga practitioners in our community. To recognize the impact Retha made over the years, the Library wishes to honor her mission to share the joy of yoga with everyone. Start the Solstice with us in reverence of a compassionate yogini. Sunday is International Yoga Day.

This session will be led by Elizabeth Moses, owner of Crystal Heart Yoga. It will be a live streamed event on the library’s Facebook page. If you are unable to attend, the video will be archived here so you can watch it anytime.

Summer, summer, summertime

As time rolls by and change is ever-constant, remember the wise words of the Fresh Prince. We all need to take the “time to sit back and unwind.” Stick around this summer to see the exciting things I have planned. Let’s get creative this season as we practice yoga, garden, sew, learn and explore together.

Be well my Friends.

xo, Erica

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