Thoughts on the Halloween season

Have you noticed the spiders? The garden spiders are amazing in this season as they grow larger and larger, weaving their beautiful webs to catch the flies feasting on fallen fruit, spangled with drops of fog in the morning. Huge spiders, orange pumpkins, yellow leaves, chilly afternoons and darkness coming early – this is the magic of the season. On one night, we add our own magic when we become someone or something we are not, knock on neighbors’ doors, and come home with sweet treasures. Halloween can be a very special delight, especially when we wait until that evening to put on our costumes and savor the excitement for a short time. I encourage you to keep it magical for your little ones by not building up too much anticipation, and keeping usual bedtimes. Your children also need your help to protect them from the commercialized imagery that confuses death with violence, and replaces mystery with fear. Here at school we focus on the changes taking place around us in nature – the leaves, the spiders, the pumpkins, the growing darkness. It can be a very good time to talk with your child about death as a part of life, to remember loved ones who have passed away, to learn about bones and skeletons, to watch the spiders growing larger and the flies whose lives are taken to feed the spiders. Let us reclaim the beautiful mystery of this season. (And please no candy in school lunches!)

Posted in seasons in the garden, thoughts about life

Do you wonder about the importance of play? This article is a few years old, and everything in it is still true. Read it, and then go play! Taking Play Seriously, NY Times Magazine:
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I am deeply grateful to Brené Brown for her work on courage, vulnerability and empathy. If you don’t know her work, start with this short but powerful animation, and then go to her webpage.
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When I’m not teaching, I volunteer with Bark, the defenders and protectors of Mt. Hood. Free monthly hikes, monthly educational talks on forest issues, families welcome! Come learn how to defend the forest.
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