We have been soaking up the sun and dry dirt that we have been graced with this week, as we know it will soon pass. This fleeting, bright, warm weather really allows us to live in the moment; we can play tail tag in bare feet, tap into learning about our chosen species without the sometimes burdensome load of winter clothes, and feel the sun peaking through the treetops on our faces as we sing around the fire.
We began our day with games as usual. This week we played a game where we embodied bats and learned how they use echolocation. One person is blindfolded while the rest circle around them make their best bat squeaks. The blindfolded person then has to locate the other bats using strictly their ears, or echolocation.
We also spent some time reading field guides to learn about the species names we pulled from a hat last week.
As we headed down into the woods, we thought about our species names and used our owl eyes and deer ears to bring us into our village. Gerry brought in our fire, we gave thanks, and enjoyed our snack before beginning passion time.
For passion time this week, we had several different exciting things going on. Some chose to learn how to make tinder bundles and fire structures, some carved and coal burned spoons by the fire, and a group used a mortar and pestle to crush rocks and make paint. They then made paint brushes by chewing tasty yellow birch twigs down to the brush-like fibers.
We also had a very special visitor this week: Malaika Whitney, a former Coyote Kids mentor who is now starting her own nature mentoring school in Michigan, visited today and helped make paint.
After passion time, we gathered back around our fire circle to enjoy some more snacks and hear our story. We thanked the land for the beautiful day it had brought us and headed back up just in time to see the sun at quite an exquisite time of day. The last hour before sunset always feels like the final deep breath of the day–the sigh of contentment as the day comes to an end.
Written by Nora Frank.