The energy of spring is big and boisterous, and we humans often find ourselves mirroring that vibrancy and spiritedness this time of year. As the sword fern’s fresh fronds unfurl and burst into bright green beauty, as the baby juncos fledge their nests, and as the fawn starts to venture a bit further away from its doe, the human children also seem to be having their own little spurts of growth and overflowing effervescence going on right now. With all of this tenderness, exuberance, and new growth, it’s even more important that we tread lightly upon the earth and be mindful of one another these days. In that same vein, spring is a good time to revisit the concept of respect and compassion for nature, for each other, and for ourselves.
For the past two Wednesdays, we’ve spent a bit of time having morning talking circles with the Fire Keepers around the concepts of respect, inclusivity and creating agreements. Each Fire Keeper had the opportunity to voice his or her thoughts about respect and how he or she would like to be treated. Afterwards, we committed to agreements around respect and inclusivity by stamping our thumbprints onto a beautiful Agreement Tree drawing that Patrick created. It felt like there was a visible positive shift in how the children treated each other and the earth after that. Pat and I intend to continue this discussion with the Fire Keepers around respect for all things, as we feel this important life lesson is at the core of all of our relations.
Another theme that has been present recently with the Fire Keeper is scouting. We’ve been playing games that help us practice and cultivate the skills of invisibility, such as Blindfold Ninja and Scout Capture the Flag. A good scout is also a caretaker who is the “eyes and ears” of the village, so we’ve been picking up trash when we find it around the park.
Some additional highlights over the past couple of weeks include:
~adventuring far and wide to “Grass Island” and beyond to a bend in the creek where we played with clay, threw rocks, made a raft, found a duck egg, discovered a Song Sparrow nest, observed a mama Mallard and her ducklings, and had an overall epic time!
~listening to the sounds of two baby Barred Owls calling to their mother while we were playing at Vine Maple Village. We didn’t get a chance to see the owls, but the sounds we heard were unmistakeable!
~finding very fresh owl pellets that were full of shrew bones!
~having a nice little fire in the fire grill. Even though it’s spring and it’s not that cold in the mornings anymore, it’s important to keep practicing fire skills!
Pat and I look forward to more adventures with the Fire Keepers this week! See you soon!