Ed’s Corner

I hope this newsletter finds you and yours safe and healthy after the battering from Hurricane Sandy. I’m glad to report that The Nature Place, Green Meadow School and the Threefold Educational Foundation weathered the storm pretty well. Trees did fall, however, so it looks like we’ll be using quite a bit of wood during this coming summer’s earth art and craft activities.

plenty of earth art material!

The weather people tell us that the powerful storm was an unusual convergence of the hurricane, a northeaster storm system coming in from the west and the more northerly flow of the jet stream at that time.

Another convergence is also happening now. Some people, as a result of the storm, are reporting feelings of vulnerability, anger, and worry. This is also the time of year, with shorter days and less sunlight, when some people start to exhibit SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) symptoms: lethargy, depression, malaise, and, you guessed it, sadness. Putting the two together can make for some challenging times.

It may seem contradictory to get out into nature, as events in the natural world are or were the cause of these feelings. But nature offers us many faces and many moods, and while a hurricane can be destructive and decreasing amounts of sunlight can bring us down, nature also offers us healing.

uprooted

A walk outside will reveal that yes, an unusual storm did uproot many trees, but it will also show that the seasons are on track, just as they were a year ago, and a year before that and ….you can depend on them.This November into December time sees night coming early, more and longer shadows, hitch hiking seeds on pants and dogs’ coats, the bright stars of winter beginning to make their appearance, misty-moisty foggy mornings, the first snow flakes, gray tree trunks against steel-gray skies, the autumn sun honoring us with occasional warm caresses.

Go out and feel the familiar, explore a little bit further through a landscape that is no longer hidden by trees, that invites you to be open, to be in the moment, to feel once again that we have much to be grateful for.

Sticky

sticky

What’s long and sticky? A Stick!
And there are many, courtesy of Sandy.

STICKS! Sticks, I say ladies and gentlemen. Step right up and get your sticks. Get ’em while they’re NOT (on the tree)! Become a stickler. Just think of all the things sticks could be: tools, kindling, snakes, letters of the alphabet, antlers, trail markers, sky hooks (so you don’t fall down), giant pencils, the raw materials for log cabins or tepees or rafts or gnome homes, bridges, corduroy roads. And let’s not forget walking sticks.

Stick them in the ground in one long undulating line from shortest to tallest. How beautiful.
Make them into a forest.
Make up a game of pick-up sticks.
Peel pieces of the bark to create a design on the stick.
There’s plenty for everyone, folks, no pushing.
Mark off some feet and inches on a stick, stick it in the ground in a place that you can see from a window, and after the next snowfall, just look outdoors at your snow stick to find out how deep it is.
Make an outdoor zoo of stick animals.
Make piles of them around your yard, leave them for the winter, and see who might decide to move in. Check for tracks in the snow.
Put aside for future use some perfect marshmallow sticks.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can never have enough sticks if you have children at home. No, no, I didn’t mean it that way, oh my, I better get going. See you next time I’m in town. Look for my special rock sale then.