The Leather Almanac – Reflection of a New Year [Edit]

By Cory David, Mr. Eagle Wilton Manors 2020/2021

Is Leather Calling? How Do We Answer?

As we approach the end of the old and head to the beginning of the new, I thought it appropriate to reflect on something globally common, rather than just the corner of our community. If there’s one thing that we all value and share in common is survival and love; ok, two things, but you get me, right?

It goes without saying that this has been a very taxing year for everyone. Life, as simple, as chaotic, as unpredictable, as it curved and knocked us back so far we thought we were back in grade school. Our stability laid shaken and our direction was lost. Moments of laughter turned to moments of pain, and complacency became the hard pill to swallow. We were caught with our pants down in a terrible way, and when we reached out to our leaders for guidance the only thing guiding them was the distant speck of a golf ball dispatched into the air by the swing of a #9 iron.

There has hardly been a moment that put us so introspective about the things that are important and that matter. Learning to provide for our children daily so they would have many years ahead, the true value of a grandmother that didn’t make it to a new year, and the now empty space once occupied by our greatest fan. We had to learn that moments of grief, as profound as they were, could only receive a brief moment of attention because as much as we wanted to stop and breathe there were still those raising their hand hoping someone would reach out and grab it. We understood their struggle because sometimes it was us raising our hand with the same wish.

The struggle for survival was very real, and as easy as it was to turn away, to fend for ourselves, more often than not most would reach out to grab that raised hand. As important as our survival was, the inherent demonstration of love empowered us.

As brothers and sisters, the realization that we couldn’t go at this alone, but as a family, we were a community. As a community, we were a nation. As a nation, we were part of the world. The suffering of one was no less important than the suffering of another, to sympathize and to give a little of what little we already had; that’s what let us know that we are still human.

Despite the profound struggles we still had moments of laughter and hope. Maybe they were just a brief respite, but there was great comfort in a simple moment where we didn’t have to look over our shoulder. We saw the value of the simplest of gifts, not ones with a price tag or with batteries included. The gift of a smile, a thumbs up, or just a brief wink of an eye because we saw the possibility of a tomorrow. The human touch became a commodity that we yearn to share, to take a bit of our laughter and pass it to another, to give a blanket so that someone else would also enjoy warmth, and to break bread with strangers so they could share their story.

When there was a call for help there were many individuals that would break off a piece of their hope so others would have just a little bit more. We knew that if we held on long enough we could get through this lesson life was trying to teach us, and we would get it.

I understand there’s not much about leather in this article, but I think that for today taking inventory of our past is necessary to help guide us to what’s important in our future, and there will be more leather next month.