A colorful equinox is a given this year. Sandwiched between our vibrant nutrition study and Halloween is one of my favorite Seed events, tie-dye day. Some of us scheme all year about our next tie-dye projects. Others, looking upon it admiringly from a distance, have never actually done tie-dye. A few won’t touch it and discretely ask willing tie-dye enthusiasts to do their shirts for them. In other words, families enter into this event from a variety of experiences. What I love about it is how veterans step up to be helpful as newbies courageously put on their paint shirts and gloves, then dive in. Preschoolers engaging in tie-dye for the first time are on equal ground with their first timer parents and grandparents.
Tie-dye is not for the faint-hearted. Neither is it for control freaks who need everything to neatly end up as planned. In fact, tie-dye is a process that is full of surprises, both with the design and color blending. It’s one of those situations where you put yourself out there and hope for the best. In addition to your own work with the bottles of dye, there’s always the “neighbor factor,” the random drops (or streams, in some cases) that land on your shirt from your neighboring tie-dye enthusiast. Tie-dye is a good practice in non-attachment. For example, last year I carefully dyed a shirt with blended layers of blue and green. At the designated time when I opened up my shirt to examine it, there was a random dot of red, right in the midst of my blues and greens. I didn’t ever pick up the red bottle and have no idea how it got there. Each time I wear the shirt it’s a reminder that some things are just out of our control, and letting go of expectations is really the only way to cope with the unexpected.
When I noticed our tie-dye day fell on the autumn equinox this year, I immediately had to look up the meaning of “equinox.” According to google.com, “The word equinox was formed by two Latin words: ‘Equi’ is the Latin prefix for ‘equal’ and ‘nox’ is the Latin word for ‘night.’ The equal refers to the fact that the amount of daylight and darkness on this day are almost equal.” In many respects tie-dye and tile painting day is a pivotal Seed event that brings summer to a close and ushers in the autumn season. Although nature will be providing us with nearly equal parts of light and darkness, our tie-dye day will most certainly be filled with brightness in the form of colorful shirts and light-filled conversations, as tie-dye artists young and older come together to transform their white shirts into rainbowed works of art.
For past blogs about tie-dye day at the Seed, click on these links: