There is a LARGE sized willow tree in the yard of Dusty Dog Farm. It is clear, due to its circumference and size, that it has withstood many storms. In the 14 years that I have had the privilege of living on this farm, I have witnessed it getting seriously beaten up by noreasters and wild summer thunder storms. Branches have fallen, large chunks of the tree have ended up on the ground, but the integrity of the tree has been steadfast. And it continues to stand... with might, character and (sometimes ragged) beauty, for all to see as they enter the farm.
I am an avid reader when I allow myself the time.
Generally, I only "allow" myself this distinct pleasure immediately prior to turning in for the night. As many of you know, I am active outdoors, year around..this leads to a sincere need, and desire, to sleep as soon as I stop moving. I usually hardly take in two paragraphs before my head is nodding, and lines get blurrier than usual. Upside of this, I love and am grateful for sleep. I spent WAY too many years unable to sleep. Another upside : one book lasts me a long time. I can read and re-read the same chapter many too many times. EXCEPT this book :
Several years ago I went to a winter conference in Concord NH. It was a conference for teachers and administrators in the state of New Hampshire. Through dumb luck, good fortune or serendipity and the kind invitation of the principal of Swanzey Elementary, Audrey Salzman (who now sits on the board of Cooper's Crossroad), I was fortunate enough to go. Here I first saw Scarlett Lewis speak. And here I began weaving her work into my personal life, my business and Cooper's Crossroad's Farming For Resilience program.
Today's post is from Susan Maydwell, a Cooper's Crossroad Board Member.
Back in the spring of 2018 Christina Major, founder of Cooper’s Crossroad, a non-profit organization, invited me to participate in a panel discussion surrounding ACE awareness and trauma being held at Dusty Dog Farm on June 6, 2018. Cooper's Crossroad mission statement reads “ Cooper's Crossroad mission is to raise awareness of the profound, insidious effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences by providing programs and educational resources for our community”. At the time the acronym ACE meant nothing to me (ACE – Adverse Childhood Experience). Christina recommended I read the book “The Deepest Well” by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, M.D. to help prepare myself for the panel discussion. Little did I know how much this book would trigger me in the most profound way both personally and professionally, resulting in continuing to research the topic through reading books and articles, and viewing documentaries. I joined the board of Cooper’s Crossroad, and feel honored to be a part of this steadfast - “grassroots” and “boots to the ground” non-profit organization.
Ever had those moments that you wish would never end? I have and now, when they happen, I "hang -on" to them as much as I can. The warm feelings and decreased anxiety that comes with being "in the moment" is a gift that stays with us for some time after.
I have recently had the distinct priviledge of studying Equine Facilitated Learning from the HERD Institute. The concepts of "I-Thou" and "I-It" (philosophy of Martin Buber) and work of Eckart Tolle, about living "Now" are thoughly covered. I am feeling rich in, and grateful for, the knowledge.
I recently had the opportunity/need to clean out a desk in my home office. Clear sign : when you begin to find letters and notes from, not days, not weeks, not even months, but years ago.
Yes. It was time. A fun, interesting, thought provoking and sometimes triggering project. It did not take long in time. But felt long in depth of time.
Eckart Tolle says wisely : "When you make the present moment, instead of the past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do and with it the quality of you life increases dramatically."
This quote highlights the importance of understanding present moment awareness..... and fuels my personal fire to help others gain and build resiliency. (Please see : www.cooperscrossroad.com.)
In non-covid life, I was facilitating a weekly program, Farming For Resilience, for two local schools.
The dark veil left by COVID - 19 is slowly being lifted.
I do not believe anything will really look the same as we regain our "sight".
Much has changed. Schools remain closed. Headlines highlight how organizations are currently developing their own new normal. It is an unprecended time for many learning to navigate to remain productive and viable.
Whether or not we are seeing "the other side" of this pandemic, I see many (including myself) as settling into a new normal.
It sure helps that the sun has been shining the last few days in New Hampshire. Our "stay at home" order has lifted a bit. To me it feels like we are getting let out to green pasture. Oddly exciting. As if we are galloping into an unknown.
This is a unique opportunity.
This world has been filed with COVID stories, and how the pandemic is reshaping our world. So it seems redundant and boring to prattle on about something that is being drilled into us through every avenue possible.
But maybe this is an opportunity?!
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