Our theme for the first two sessions in our new year is Winter Magic, with a focus on Trees (to be shared next time). Winter Magic indeed greeted us when we met Wednesday morning! Ice and frost everywhere. We had fun exploring the patterns in the ice, and stomping on those frozen puddles and discover what happened. I was amazed by the beautiful curves in the ice in some puddles, as wells as triangles and polygons in others.
I found myself inspired to create some nature art:
We had an amazing wander, looking at and photographing (one child had brought a camera, and I made mine available as well) the incredible transformation of the plants and our landscape by ice.
At the Primitive Village — a shelter and fire circle created and tended by another children’s nature program several years before, and which we now tend — we built and tended a fire. Fire is certainly winter magic — as well as a survival skill, and of course, far more. In our program we teach respect for fire making and fire tending. Next week we will review again fire safety, and the need for calm conduct around the fire (playfulness can take place at a certain distance beyond the cleared area that surrounds the fire circle), as we will be joined by the 3-6 year olds of the Heartstone Children’s program.
Fire too, I discover again and again, mirrors our unity–our “oneness of mind”, or lack thereof! Many times I find myself turning to the fire when discord erupts around our fire circle. I almost always catch a seed of wisdom within what is happening, or not, with the flames. At the very least, I can call to the kids and myself to just take a moment to take a few breaths and focus on our fire, or even on the stones of our fire circle (as when the fire is smouldering, or just not catching). Those moments of stillness can bring new insight, or shift the energy, or just give a little space to what was “sparking” previously.
So many lessons involved with mindful fire! If you are interested in sharing firemaking with children, I encourage you to read the section in Tom Brown’s Field Guide To Nature And Survival For Children for guidance on fire safety.
As for the profound aspects of Fire, I invite you to just experience the fire, as you know doubt have done many, many times. Is the Fire mirroring the spirit and emotions of those around you in some way, and of yourself?
I will write more about sharing Fire and fire making with children, and ideas for exploring the magic of Trees in future posts! In the meantime, be sure to explore the magic of winter and ice with a child in your life! All you need is your own sense of wonder and curiosity!