"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery--air, mountains, trees, people.
I thought, this is what it is to be happy."
So many wonderful and exciting discoveries were tucked into our 7th week at Nature School. There was a theme of "new friends".
At our Tuesday morning circle in the Tipi we chatted with the kids about a new student who will be joining us at Nature School from far, far away (Namibia, Africa) and looked at some pictures of the desert she plays in. Thoughtful questions and creative answers went back and forth, ranging from camels, sea monsters and sand tag to musings about living with a sea in your front yard and a desert in the back. Hard to imagine that a little kid who is otherwise just like our Nature school "wolf cubs" has never been in a green forest like ours, or experienced winter, or listened to chattering squirrels. We made a video welcome message to send to her.
Staying on the topic of new friends, we got permission to feed apples to the horses that live next door to our forest... so armed with a bag of apples, we headed to the south fence line and began to whistle and whinny to attract the horses. At first cautious, and then with friendly abandon (speaking of both horses and kids!), we fed apples to the horses who were nuzzling our toques and enjoying some nice chin scratches by the end of our time together.
Thursday was bursting with the excitement of snow! This white weather was a first for one of our students (so special!), and the heralding of a new season of outdoor adventure for others. We had new things to learn about staying warm, including keeping our gear high & dry so we could all enjoy maximum fun. Our sit spot was so different (and magical) on this day, everything looked different from our otherwise familiar watch points-- the view is much broader now that the leaves have mostly fallen from the trees, and with a blanket of white on the ground, our focus was drawn upwards. Next was the fun of Mr. Mitchell's Grade 6 class arriving for a combined group game of "survival" which we concluded by all singing a silly song together.
I had a special moment this week, as Kristina reminded me that we should model "sit spot" to the kids by doing it too... in taking those 2 minutes to sit down and just be in nature, I was filled with such a profound sense of connection. We are a part of nature! I'm not sure if anything could be more important for kids then experiencing nature connection, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this for your children. I also invite you, as busy adults, to take 2 minutes to open your owl eyes, turn on your coyote nose, and listen like a deer as you sit with nature this week. Share your experience with your kids!