Message 9

Activities:

Here’s another video about Bird Language. This one is focused on the different kinds of alarms that are out there and will give you an idea of the nuances and varieties of calls to look out for. We hope you enjoyed the first video, this one will take the lessons to the next level.
Look out for the birds this week! Send us a bird language story if you have one, we’d love to hear it.
.
Attached is a collection of photos of spring plants from Monica’s perennial medicinal herb garden. Can you recognize these Quizz plante?

Ressources:

Montreal Families has a lot of interesting articles and references for families. check it out (mostly english):
https://www.montrealfamilies.ca/
.
Find your local farmer soon and sign up for a basket of delicious organic vegetables here:
https://www.fermierdefamille.com
.
Here’s a list of local organizations doing support work for families regarding mental health, parenting, and counseling support:
.

Reflection:

Here’s a poem by the incredible poet Mary Oliver:
.

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

.
― Mary Oliver

Message 8

Activities:

Resources:

Here’s a video about starting seedlings made by our dear friend Charleen. Check it out !

Reflections:

Our teen program last week set some goals around simple ways we can contribute to our immediate community and the slightly more extended community. We spoke about how it’s important to look in the shadows of our awareness for the little things that are neglected. We set missions for ourselves that were reasonable, practical, and that we knew would be mostly enjoyable. 🙂 This quote touches on that:
.
Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” – John W. Gardner

.

Message 7

Activities

By popular demand, here’s a legendary song shared by Annie about penguins. It will keep you warm when you are cold, and it will keep you joyous and silly when you are feeling low and would appreciate some magic.

Here are the lyrics:
Have you ever seen a penguin drinking tea? 
And if you look at me a penguin you will see!

Penguins unite, penguins begin!

Watch this hilarious video of our friend and instructor Patrick and his family harvest maple water to make syrup in honor of their ancestors.

The days are getting longer as we just passed by the spring equinox (March 19th). The sun is now rising slightly north of due east and setting slightly north of due west. Soon our ears will be full of bird and insect sounds, and the memories of fall and winter will decompose and return to soil. It’s the last chance to savor the beauty of the senescing part of the cycle of life! Special mission: make a bouquet of dried plants! Find some beautiful plants from outdoors, take them in to dry them, then find a rope to bundle them up and a pretty container to put them in. Send us a picture of what you gathered! Can you identify the different plants? Did you see the next generation of that species sprouting up next to the older one?

Resources

Maybe you or someone you know who would appreciate this resource:
“We are a group of young people who have come together to form VolunteerAtlas, an interactive map to connect healthy volunteers with folks in need of help. Our goal is to create long-term mutual-aid partnerships between members of our community through a centralized database, so that we can build resilience for Covid19 and beyond!”
Sign up if you are:
  • A healthy volunteer, looking to help out and make a long-term connection
  • Self-quarantined and in need of essential goods delivered to you
  • We want to help all different kinds of folks – elderly, frontline workers, those already sick and self-isolated, those with weakened immune systems or with chronic illness.

The Quebec government’s web platform The Open School went online last Monday, allowing schoolchildren and their parents to carry out activities while classes are suspended for the COVID-19 crisis.
Check it out here: https://www.ecoleouverte.ca/en/

Reflections

We sometimes tell youth before we do sit spots (where you sit in nature and observe for 15 – 50 minutes) that this is the hardest survival skill we’ll practice all day. Sometimes they laugh! But then they learn why. We aren’t used to it! This quote reminds us of some of the opportunities in slowing down and being present.

Stop trying to heal yourself, fix yourself, even awaken yourself. Let go of letting go. Stop trying to fast-forward the movie of your life, chasing futures that never seem to arrive. Instead, bow deeply to yourself as you actually are. Your pain, your sorrow, your doubts, your deepest longing, your fearful thoughts…are not mistakes, and they aren’t asking to be healing. They are asking to be held. Here, now, lightly, in the loving arms of present awareness.

― Jeff Foster

Message 6

Activities:

 

– Did you like the song “Wild Ones” from last week’s message ? Here’s a french version. It was adapted by Muriel with the help of other families from a family program a while back. Enjoy !

Que le soleil vienne réchauffer mes os
Que les oiseaux et les abeilles viennent chatouiller ma peau
Je suis sauvage maintenant, fait(e) de pluie et de vent
Je suis sauvage maintenant, pis j’veux pas redevenir comme avant

Puppet show! For 4 – 6 year olds. A bilingual show for youngsters looking to be inspired around fun nature connection practices. Produced by our very own Jesse Grindler and Cleo. It’s 3 minutes long. In this episode, Cleo learns to do a sit spot. You can try it with your child. Find a nice place to sit outside and try to be silent for 5-10 minutes. Maybe even sit apart from them if they are ready for that. Give a coyote howl when you are ready to come back together. What did you see? feel? smell? Did you hear what the birds did? Is there a nature mystery to follow up on now?

– Building a rocket stove:
Rocket stoves are simple, DIY stoves that make burning wood safe and efficient. It can be used to boil water if the power goes out or for a fun fire experience. When working with tin cans and metal cutters / snips, make sure to wear safety gloves because the edges can be sharp!
Basically its an insulated metal bucket (insulated with wood ash, rocks or sand), with two cans connected together to make an L. That’s the entrance and the chimney of your stove. The entrance can (the one that’s horizontal) may have a piece of metal with holes in it in one end, that sits in the middle, dividing the can into two, to let air come in from underneath, while you feed wood to burn up top. Screws to attach the cans are optional as there are designs where they simply sit on each other and are supported by the insulative material around them.

A video tutorial for one design:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDADCZtVJ9w

A collection of variations and other designs:
https://homesthetics.net/rocket-stove-plans/

Learn the basic principles then get creative with it and have fun! Send us a picture of your rocket stove if you make one!

Resources:

 

– How to safely buy groceries in a pandemic?
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-grocery-shopping-online-1.5516983

– This is an amazing collection of short, simple activities to do with kids, it’s called Exploration of the Day. There’s translations in english, french, german, and spanish
https://www.explorationoftheday.com/

Reflections:

A few reflections from activist, mythologist Michael Meade

The wisdom gained from suffering our isolation together, must be used to make the next world.

We live in times of widespread trouble and sweeping change: if we can trust the nature of our souls and throw ourselves wholeheartedly into those things that truly call to us, these could become initiatory times as well.

We are called to become ourselves and since each self is unique, the calling comes uniquely to us. Learning one’s true way of fitting into this world often requires becoming unfit for regular duties and common expectations. What truly calls to us would have us go beyond the usual limits. In responding to the call we join the lineage of those who are burning with an inner fire; not simply fired up with the heat of ambition, but awakened to a dream and flame that flickers in one’s heart of hearts. A genuine calling further ignites the eternal spark originally carried into life by the soul and nothing can sooth that inner flame except that we fully respond and follow it through the world.

Message 5

Activities:

 

  • Outside Scavenger Hunt for 7 to 12 years old. Find a park or vast wild area and accompany your child to find these treasures. 🙂 Want to add some magic to it? Print off this sheet, and burn the edges to make it look like a magical lost scroll.

 

  • Another song to learn to sing!

”Let the sun shine down and warm my bones,
let the birds and the bees come and take me home,
cause I’m a Wild One now made of wind and rain,
I’m wild and I ain’t coming back again.”

Resources:

 

  • Here’s a great article on starting seedlings at your home for your garden (in french only).

 

 

 

  • Build and prepare your own Emergency COVID-19 GO-BAG! If you had to leave the house in 30 seconds, having a bag ready with various things you’d need for an extended stay on the road, or at a hospital could be really helpful for you and your family. Check out Arndell’s COVID-19 emergency go-bag.

 

  • Ran out of toilet paper? Don’t worry! Rags and water are to the rescue ! Check out this video by Woniya Thibeault. Make the rags, prepare the set up, and your toilet paper scarcity fears are resolved! Save trees, use rags.

Reflection:

 

    One of our staff shared a good reflection the other day with our teen crew, who have taken to gathering once a week online. Something like:

 

What’s the difference between a schedule and a routine? Do we really need to be adhering to a strict schedule right now, or can we focus on honing good routines? And to do that, let’s look at the principles behind the routines we want. What are the qualities of moments that we would like to have in our day? Around when-ish would like to connect to those qualities? If we can be clear on these things, maybe we’ll have a day that flows like a wild animal does- calm and cool and collected, achieving all that we need to, without the potentially manic stress of a clock and the pressure that it risks weighing us down with. What makes an ideal morning? Maybe: some quiet alone time, some exercise, some helping out with the family. What are the elements of your ideal day? When are we ready to soak in some media/news? When do we need to not have our brains have that info bouncing around?