Our final day of Fire Keepers was one of my favorites. It started off as a typical day of class. We played a few of our favorite games (like Fire in The Forest), shared some gratitude, caught up with some friends that we hadn’t seen in awhile (Leo the Dog and Karen and Annie!!!) and heard an inspiring story over snack. Our wanderings led us once again to Owl Pellet Plateau, which is where all the magic unfolded. I swear, there is something really special about this part of the park. . .
Up on the plateau, Pat and I took the Fire Keepers over to the spot where we had found a big pile of deer bones with the Fox Walkers. The Fire Keepers were super excited about this discovery, and after examining the bones a little bit, this musical crew spontaneously decided to use them as instruments. They were tapping and clicking the leg bones and vertebrae together, and scraping the rib bones again the scapulas to make cool noises. They got quite the rhythmic jam session going!
Eventually, a few of the Fire Keepers mentioned that they wanted to take bones home with them. A discussion emerged over whether or not we should leave the bones so that other people can learn from examining them. As I mentioned, this was a big collection of deer bones, so if we all just took a couple, there would still be plenty to learn from. But we were still undecided. After a bit of debate, I suggested that we each find a tree and have a sit spot, and seek the wisdom of the forest to help us decide whether or not we should take some bones.
Once we all settled into our sit spots, I noticed a doe quietly browsing on a huckleberry bush. I was amazed at how close she was to me, and how unfazed she was by my presence. I called a couple of nearby kids over, and we all watched in amazement at this deer. After a few moments, we reconvened as a class. We shared a bit about our sit spot time, and about the insights we received in regards to the bones. The children seemed to have all received similar messages: It’s okay to take some deer bones, but no more than three each. And only take a bone if you know that you're going to use it for something. Don’t just take one and throw it away.
It was very sweet for Pat and I to listen to these wise reflections from the Fire Keepers, and we were so glad that we took the time to have a sit spot. Afterwards, some students and I started to gather our things and head towards the meadow nearby, when we heard the crow call from Pat. We ran over quickly to where he was, and he and a couple of the Fire Keepers were staring in amazement. They had just stumbled upon a SLEEPING FAWN!! This fawn had been quietly resting for who knows how long, but she was nestled between a couple of fallen logs adjacent to the deer bones. She had probably been there the whole time we were there, and we didn’t even notice! Her spotted coat blended in perfectly with the debris of the forest. It was incredible!
Unfortunately, all of our excitement spooked her a bit, and she bounded from her spot over to her mama.. the doe that we had been watching while we were at our sit spots earlier!!! It was truly a magical interaction, and just as we turned to continue on our wander, we looked over and saw a male Hairy Woodpecker, knocking on some wood in a low spot on a snag. Wow! What a beautiful sight! It was a potent reminder that the forest has so many lessons to teach us, you just have to take the time to move slowly and quietly with Fox feet, stop and listen with your Deer ears, and observe with your Owl eyes.
Our time at the meadow was also quite epic, as we shape-shifted into coyote and rabbits and hid amongst the long grasses and forest edges in a sneaky hiding game. Then we rolled down a steep hill and worked on some Cattail and Cedar cordage!
Pat and I are so thankful to have had such a wonderful Spring session with the Fire Keepers, and we feel so much gratitude for these incredible children and their families! We hope you all have a wonderful summer!!