Coyote had to compete in a serious of challenges (sit spot, animal forms, improv, bow drill, Brooke's Nature Museum, awareness) and earn the power of tools and resources. YES, we picked THE shovel in the morning. All to make good use in a balloon fire making competition (we won third place) before taking the fire on a little swim through the pond. We took first. Yip!
I AM FROM
where the hills are alive with the Sound of Music
where beer is consumed in big heavy mugs with pretzels
where chestnuts are covering the old mill's creek and the nauseating smell of red geraniums nestled in planters on a balcony overlooking the town center.
I AM FROM
a home I am scared to be alone in, feeling in danger, hiding from the evil, who's ashes are now spread all over Hawaii in stark contrast to the sweetness of the warm buns 'finger-dick' topped with Nutella - oh, so forbidden - cut up in little bit sized squares with unconditional love by my grandparents, followed by Grandpa peeling potatoes for a big family dinner to the sound of Formula 1 engines ravving on TV.
I AM FROM
a lake where the nightly summer storm is announced by flashing red lights, alarming everyone to get busy, taking laundry of the umbrella clothes line dryer, rushing home, the air electrified in excitement, the first heavy raindrops releasing the warmth of the asphalt - and in this mix my best friends familiar smelling fish hands.
I AM FROM
a place where we are pretending to be a happy family - then & now - like so many. The endless bickering reminding me of my own shortcomings and how we are all one driven by the power of love and kindness. Where our piep-piep-piep rhyme is captured in a book about nurturing family rituals, called Heart Tending. We must do something right.
I AM FROM
a soul inspired by all my tree hugging friends who are giving the best hugs ever, likely from years of practicing on trees and how I miss them.
I AM FROM
from many landscapes traveled with others equally passionate about being alive and part of something bigger.
I AM FROM
the lust of adventures running deep through my veins for centuries.
I AM FROM
random kindness making my heart skip a beat, thriving to witness these moments every day!
Today our Anake session was to connect with our sit spot land in a deeper way. We set some intentions in the morning before going out for about 2 hours. Tending, listening, offering, touching, beautifying,... inspired by the 5 Love Languages and aware what we offer might be not what the land asks for.
My intention was to listen to the land. I started with taking the trash out. I had a pile collected at Fairmount and was meaning to get it out for a while. It was a rainy morning and I enjoyed getting soaking wet. I cut my way through a lot of blackberries on my way to the little Madrona I planted with David 2 years ago. She looks very happy with her glossy wet leaves. I also freed up the little Thimbleberry and Gooseberry Patch close by.
A woman played with her Golden Doodle in the Park and they sounds they made where very different from all the other Dog/human-pairs that frequent the field. I looked up a couple of times but could not really figure out what was so special about their play.
I continued my blackberry cutting east of the Cherry log and listened to the birds chatter about me. There wasn't much else going on, so I was pretty sure it was about me. I wondered if they are annoyed by my actions or if they can feel my intention of bringing more diversity and food sources for them instead. I could feel their energy and started whistling the melody of 'grateful to be' but didn't connect the song with the lyrics at first. I just felt like their alertness switched more to curiosity and general chatter and away from my presence.
Like the birds in the sky
Like the dragonfly
Like the trees listening
What lives in them lives in me
I am grateful to be
Breathing, heart beating, joyous, and free
Even though hard times are all around me
I am grateful to be
When we met on Zoom again after our dirt time, and shared about our experiences. I was completely soaked but very happy. Cutting blackberries is meditative and very satisfying for me. I can listen to all the sounds and rediscover plants hidden under 15 feet of blackberry canes.
Later I looked up the song online and loved how much meaning the words had to my morning. It was the second day after the 2020 Election and we were all waiting for the call who will be the next US President. There was a general heaviness in the air. I worried a lot for the future of the planet if the US leadership would continue under an evil person that lacks any sense for stewardship and the importance of a healthy ecosystem for human survival.
Happy little Madrona
This summer when I got to spend some time in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, I tried to find out more about the creek running close to our rental.
During the research I learnt about a group restoring Ennis creek and then came across this song son Wes wrote for his Mom to acknowledge restoration efforts.
I think it's beautiful, the story as well as the song: Lifeline
Wander at Schmitz
Slugs, mud, log
Looked at crusty lichen on big trees
Got to Linne Doran late
Emailed til 2
Heard alarm at 6
Not a happy camper
Learned about Linne Doran History
Went on a bird wander
Saw a grey jay maybe
Learnt more about bird language
Presented spotted towhee pipilo
Cool stories about poly robins
Walked to Mosswood w Genevieve
Chatted with Rowan + Maggie
Went to Tolt with Allegra
Camas is Self-Heal
Bird long white brown
This morning when I stepped outside for a second, I heard a very loud crunch on the right Douglas fir out front. I waited a bit and then the little fluffy tail came in site. I waited a bit more and my neighbor squirrel positioned itself on a little branch carrying a big nut or acorn in his mouth. The sound when he climbed head down the trunk to get to the branch was amplified, almost screaming at me. I do think he knows me. He rarely screams at me even if I pass under the tree. He nibbed a bit on his food before dashing off over his highway - from one Doug to the next over the cherry into the Cedar.
One of my goals is to earn his trust and be able to get closer. Also to find out if he is in fact a 'he'.
When I stepped out in the afternoon to go to my sit spot there were two of them in the tree. One climbing down a very brittle, dried up looking branch, I would avoid if I was a squirrel.
...just not yet.
Washington had a big cloud of smoke move in from the South and the air quality was very unhealthy. I already felt some discomfort from the smoke on Friday and I was happy I didn't need to be outside all day in the smoke, and a bit sad Anake got postponed.
It gave me time to help my best friend get her new house a bit more ready, which I wanted to do - and to get things more in order at home before I am taking off half of the week for the rest of the year.
We had our Orientation Day yesterday. Strix Occidentalis. 2 Clans.
The smoke moved in quickly and it was nice to have the face masks.
I particularly enjoyed the walk and learning that my sit spot for years is between the 'Cable Tree' and the Ancestor Hill.
I also got to visit my sit spot and decided to put some intentions in my Anake year and remembered how Kyle introduced me to the site and demonstrated his skills on the log in the Enchanted Forest. So, I took this and thought what would Kyle do and started rolling down from my sitting position and lay above the big old stump where the 3 little birds visited me a while ago, where I got inspired to learn about the Hemlock, Cedar and Huckleberry, I didn't know yet. I loved to lay there in the still and look up in the tree tops. Another perspective. A bit of playfulness and cheer build-in.
On August 22nd in the afternoon we met with Stu and Helen from the Puget Ridge Edible Garden. First, Emory and Sarah welcomed the other Ambassadors and parents to PREP and Stu and Helen gave an introduction on how we would make cider using an apple press.
While we picked up all the apples from a giant apple tree in the middle of the garden, some more people arrived to join us. We worked together pretty well and it did not take long at all to fill up the giant wheelbarrow and all crates with apples. We started sorting all the apples we found on the ground and ended up with one pile of good apples, we then washed in a big tub of water and cut them up in four pieces. The other apples went on a compost pile so nothing would be wasted. It smells pretty sweet.
All the cut up good pieces ended up in an apple masher. We took turns turning the handle to mash. Whenever the bucket was full we dumped the mashed up apples into a big cider press. Rusty and Marco helped us using the press. The cider ran into a red circular spout and dripped into big Mason jars we all brought, so we could take some fresh pressed apple cider home with us. Once we had our first batch we all got to try some and everyone was pretty happy with the final result.
We also learnt that the difference between apple juice and apple cider is that apple juice is more processed and apple cider usually has some chunks or pieces of apples still in them.
Emma also gave us a little tour of the Garden and we harvested a few carrots from her little fenced-in experimental area to showcase how many different things can grow in only a very limited space.
We all had a lot of fun and can't wait to come back. We recommend you visit, too.
After a long rollercoaster ride through many many potholes up the steep hill to Mt. Tuam in our 36 year old VW Bus Willie, Sarah needed a little bit to orient herself to the new environment at Camp. It didn't take her too long to figure out how to make new friends. She was in the 'Leafwalking Bandits' group with the 10 to 12 year olds with more girls than boys and the 3 instructors, Barnaby, Stephanie and Teresa. They practiced a lot of skits, played Quiddich (from HP) but some nearby wasps made it not fun for everyone. It seemed to be a common theme, as whenever the group tried to play games something else came up instead, so Sarah can't remember playing much games.
The nonstop request for snacks from one very hungry starving fellow helped the rest of the group get snacks earlier and earlier every day.
They found a very pretty hangout spot with a bunch of trees and a nice ocean view. The initially spot wasn't as nice, but after some search parties for a better home they all agreed on the new spo being awesome. So pretty.
Sarah (Ladybird Beetle, short: Bird) made 2 new best friends, Spiderwasp and Rosegall. They discovered making leather pouches at the skill tent and were quite crafty. They also liked to chat a lot and Sarah was a little surprised how quickly she become best friends with the friendly boy with crutches (he had a rock fell on it 2 weeks before Camp).
The Bandits also played Foxtails (stealing Bandanas out of each others pockets in a circle) with the Fawn families. Sarah's favorite part was when she (Bird) and Spiderwasp volunteered to help out a Fawn family, one with little ones, and got to watch a 3 year old girl during mealtimes.
She didn't like to be quiet for a long time during campfire to listen to very long stories, but really liked the yummy dessert for lunch.
Curious Bee. Forest Steward. Nature Nerd. Climate Activist Mom.