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'Tis the Season for Gratitude

My blog writing has been on a several-month-long hiatus. As an explanation for the pause, a few personal challenges came about, along with the whirl of fall/early winter.


Cooper's Crossroad Farming for Resilience has had a wonderful fall semester. The eight-week program came and went faster than I could believe. We had the privilege of working with Symonds School, Wheelock School, Keene Middle School, and Keene High School students. As the last group of students reluctantly left the farm, I thought about how much I look forward to a day when we can work with students in the winter as well. One personal dream is to have an indoor space to accommodate the programs.


A woman dressing in winter clothing with a white hat and hinged elbow brace stands near two horses and a male participant in plaid shirt and helmet.
Christina with a participant and Porsha. Sierra is in the background.


We also welcomed a new equine partner to our Farming for Resilience program. Faith joined the herd in the early fall and began working with our equine volunteers. It takes a bit to "explain" to the new horses what they will be doing. Faith was FLOORED the first time a school bus pulled in and folks poured out. She initially was bug-eyed at the swirl of human and horse activity and only wanted to watch from the sidelines.


After several weeks of observing she felt curious and asked to be part of the activity. It was a gentle introduction to the responsibilities of an FFR equine partner. She was introduced officially on week seven to the high school participants and excelled immediately. Her heart is big and her spirit is giving. She is a former racehorse, a former pleasure horse, and now an educator. I clearly see how she will share courage, gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness with grace and clarity.


Please reach out to Cooper's Crossroad to meet Faith and/or contribute to her care and well-being.


The interior of the barn features name plaques for each of the horses.
The interior of the barn features name plaques for each of the horses.


The following is a letter from a high school participant. This speaks to the value of the program.


"Dear Elm Farm staff,

Almost every morning I wake up in the worst mood because of the problems I have. I wake up with an attitude or I'm stressed out. One Thursday morning before going to the farm my mom and I were arguing and the whole morning I was upset and crying until I remembered we're going to the farm today. I know this will make my day so much better. We ended up walking to the farm that day. I got so excited I was speed walking the whole way. I got there and walked right up to Sierra and gave her the biggest hug. That is what made my day 100,000 times better. If farm day was every day I wouldn't miss a single day. Love, Bella"


Through this season of gratitude and giving, join me in keeping eyes and hearts open to the world with courage, gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness.


With joy and peace,


Christina

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