If humankind is to recover its balance on the Earth I’m convinced that it will require a profound rekindling of our collective love for and intimacy with nature. It is, of course, impossible, despite our best efforts, to separate ourselves from nature; it is writ in our DNA. However, we have gone very far down the road of denial and exploitation.
About two years ago I was invited by some dear friends to attend a family day at EarthWalk which their son attends. I was very taken with the program and was honored to be invited to participate as an elder. I was never told what the qualifications for being an “elder” are, but from my side, coming away from each visit filled with kinship and a smile on my face are all I need.
Much has been written about the benefits of immersing children in wild nature. My hunch is that most people still view the idea as an amendment to real life. To me, regular, near daily immersion in nature is as essential as food.
EarthWalk is exactly the kind of program necessary to rekindle the tinder of Earth-based knowledge, skill and community, so that we may yet again walk in balance.
The Village School program is for ages 7-12 with kids attending one day a week through the school year. The Teen Land project is for ages 13-17, again with one day a week attendance. There are a variety of summer programs, including mentor training.
Information on curricula, philosophy and programming can be found at EarthWalk website
What could be better than:
1. Teaching of earth based skills, knowledge and respect relating to the practical as well as the mysterious
2. Engagement in multi-generational community
3. Sensitive adult guidance with unimposing universal behavior codes
A few photos speak volumes. (arranged roughly in seasonal order)
The following five photos show the Village School ritual Drum-stalk in which three groups are blindfolded, led to a distance and make their way blindfolded, individually and silently, to a drum-beater who is stationary in an undisclosed location.