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Looking Ahead

Cooper's Crossroad Farming For Resilience school programs have been on hold lately, due to the holidays for some, due to COVID 19 for others. I miss the students. I miss the opportunity to see courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion grow in them. So with that said, I am grateful to be starting up in March with a 12 week program for Ashuelot Valley Academy students. The curriculum is packed full of farming for resilience. I had a blast creating it. Now I envision a spring and early summer full of Gardening with Gratitude, Compassionate Connection, Forging Forgiveness and Planting Positivity.. plus more. You see, each week the curriculum wraps courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion in with the work with horses, farm related experiences and artistic expression. A short video was put together just after the first year we facilitated this program. Created by a teacher at Symonds, it very quickly describes the program through short clips of sessions, interviews with the students and staff, and dialogue on the program in general. To this day every time I watch it, I am moved to tears. It is hard to describe the feeling that I get knowing the scars left from my own childhood adversity now provide the platform from which this grows. For this I have deep gratitude. During the video Nancy Eliot, a teacher at Symonds Elementary in the ARC collab, is quoted "The most amazing thing I have noticed about this experience is what these horses are able to do in minutes what we, mere humans, have been trying to do for days, weeks, months or even years....And that is develop healthy trusting relationships.....At the farm these kids can just be kids and leave all their baggage behind, there is nothing better than that." With Farming For Resilience mountains are moved. Community involvement is sparked. Courage is created. Gratitude is gained. Forgiveness is found. Compassion is constructed. Participants progress in self image, self esteem and ability to manage emotions. I believe the lessons of Choose Love and the work with horses can not help but filter over in to other areas of their lives. For now I wait, patiently, with the volunteers and equine staff for the days to lengthen and coats to begin shedding. Soon Farming For Resilience will be back in action. ​All my best, Christina



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Photo by Arindam Chowdhury from Pexels

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