Tonight we are having a brilliant thunderstorm. I for one love summer thunderstorms. I spent the evening relaxing and watching the bats come out and play in the sunset. The air is electric at Ahimsa right now and everything is awakened by summer's embrace. Even at night, it is clear that all sentient beings are having difficulty sleeping instead of stargazing, watching firefly's, and enjoying the perfect warmth of summer nights in PA.
So, I am well rested after day 5 of camp and am ready to report all the happenings of the day. Our day started out (like all camp days) at 9am.
Today we were lucky to have two kids from NYC with us as part of the "Fresh Air" program. This program provides opportunity for kids to leave the city and explore nature. They focus on kids that would otherwise not be able to do so for various personal reasons. The kids we had with us are still here and will be here for a few days. They added quite a bit of personality to our group and our PA kiddos clearly responded well to them. It was refreshing to have their enthusiasm around and their delight in seeing a world so completely different from the concrete in NYC.
Unfortunately, we only 5 kids today instead of what has become our usual 7 or 8. However, this number was perfect for the morning yoga taught by a local mother, Jenn. We had just enough mats for the kids (not to mention room in the farm house) to do their yoga.
We began yoga following a morning snack and discussion of our hero's. Today Kelle made delicious homemade banana chocolate chip cookies for the AM snack. We split into pairs and had a interesting discussion of a individual hero of ours. I chose to speak about Grace Lee Boggs who currently lives in Detroit and is still "Living for Change." My partner talked about how her mom is her hero. The reasoning was quite interesting and through this discussion I came to realize that Janet (a Fresh Air kid) had a strong sense of self worth and positive self image. After working so long with teenage girls who hate their body, it was an inspiring morning for me. I found another hero in this little girl.
So, the kids came to the farm house from the morning yurt meeting and did their yoga. They gave a good effort. The boys who until that moment, were tentative about it because they did not want to be seen as "feminine," clearly enjoyed parts of it. They were even closing their eyes and attempting to be meditative during the process. Janet was clearly a pro at yoga and was able to do everything with ease. Some of the other kids giggled through it and simply enjoyed exploring a new way of being active and aware.
Following yoga, we gardened! I think the best part for everyone today was all the huge worms that were out following last nights rain. We weeded and planted a bit. During this, the kids were able to get to know each other better, get dirty, and joke around. They decided when they were done when they began to get restless and started their next activity using maps and compass.
Lunch Break: Lunch was absolutely delightful today. Kelle made 100% homemade organic vegan cheesy pasta, garlic bread, and fruit smoothies. Everyone ate and had some free time. They also participated in a required 10-15 minute clean up after wards that everyone has to take part of.
Finally, we headed up to the Zen-do for construction/art with Chuck. This was so much fun and the everyone (including the adults) learned a significant amount while having fun. Chuck began by explaining the process of making wooden candle holders and then explaining the tools we would use. We all made our own candle holders. I made one completely out of wood with it's bark intact instead of the stripped and sanded wood that Chuck provided. It fits in well with the yurt:). All of them were creative. One of the kids made a large skyscraper candle holder!
We walked back to Ahimsa and had the closing meeting in the yurt. The kids ate lots of fresh watermelon and waited for their parents to pick them up.
Wow, so much in one day. Stay tuned for next week's adventures.
"Listen to all of these seemingly separate sounds and witness this symphony forms one tapestry, you are a weaver of this fabric that needs the harmony of we to be
You are profoundly blessed
To the silent prophecies they don’t want us to hear
-Goddess Alchemy Project