I have always been fascinated with blacksmithing. When we moved to the farm on Michael Lake, I had a chance to pursue this ancient craft, joining the Vancouver Island Blacksmith Club and creating my own forge. The forge developed slowly: it takes years to find all the components needed in any decent forge.
When I finally had the forge ready, I told all the neighbours, thinking the guys would come down on Saturday morning for a coffee and metalwork. Well, there was a good turn out – but the average age was 10-years old! All the neighbourhood children showed up. We had a great time. We created a main trophy for the pumpkin growing contest and smaller ‘keeper’ trophies. While interest comes and goes to see the forge in action, there is one boy who keeps coming back. Perhaps he will be the one to carry the torch?
And that to me is reason enough to keep the forge open. It’s a chance to connect the past with the future. And to instill a sense of respect for those who work with their hands. But the forge also provides a chance to instill self-respect and respect for each other. In the blacksmith shop there is no room for being careless or absent-minded. You must be in the moment – blacksmithing teaches careful planning and patience. And you must watch and listen as you forge metal. Red hot metal is unforgiving.
Children are the future of any community. The more they are valued and connected into the community, the stronger the neighborhood.
In strong communities, all the generations feel connected to each other.