Reflections on a decade of creative connecting
You know now and again I like to get philosophical over here, and what better time to reflect on the purpose of what one does than at the 10 year mark.
I started out with an aim to create a nature integration lesson resource for Montessori Elementary teachers. But this project of connecting humans and nature, creatively, has grown into SO much more than that.
Here we are grown, and growing, into a multiplicity of resources and connections that I never could have dreamed when I handed in my classroom teacher resignation letter the day before spring break 2010.
Each month, I hope, the world of Wings, Worms, and Wonder grows into a place that coexists within and compliments both ancient and modern ways of being on planet Earth. This world is an open place that seeks an evolving understanding.
We breathe in and out past and present the energies that remind us of the old and lead us to the new ways of living within the world. We communicate with our our breath, receiving O2 and reciprocating CO2.
The Latin spirare means breath
Through this word we get the root - spir: respire, inspire, expire. All part of the cycle, ecosystem, world. (Professor Nalini Nadkarni's wise linguistic observation). Elder cultures have many more words for this than do the few languages that live on my tongue.
Nature writer and ethnobotanist Enrique Salmon uses the word "kincentricity" to name this reciprocal system where all beings participate in a biodiverse "kincentric" ecology of place, physical and cultural.
I find that often the importance of culture is left out of nature journaling and nature learning. Culture is inherently intertwined with nature. Ecofeminists understand this as do decolonized deep ecologists. The conversation isn't new and voices across Earth have been saying this for decades, centuries, millennia. Descendants of the elder keepers of the land feel this in every cell for centuries as their cultures are torn from place and erasure attempted.
Culture allows us humans, the youngest and most domineering of species on this planet, to reciprocate with our ecological family - for better or worse.
Culture, at its best, allows the human species to experience place and celebrate reciprocity with planet Earth. We reflect our relationships with our place and planet through art and ceremony - fundamental human needs.
Old keys to open new doors
Poet and educator Francisco X. Alacrón reminds the human species, as we perch at the point of climate no return, that we could use old keys to open new doors. Old keys that unlocked doors to ways of being and knowing that lived in harmony and reciprocity. Breathe in, breathe out.
Our tongues don't have to know the languages of all of our allies on this quest to remember, to find the locks that the old keys fit to open new ways of being. When we speak with our hearts to the trees, the mountains, the sea, the animals, other humans...all understand.
In the 10 years I've cultivated the soils and inhabited the world of Wings, Worms, and Wonder I use the time I spend there to work on how I can listen more & observe better the beauty that emerges when I make the time to really see and hear the life around me. Nature's whispers.
By embracing the complexity, the spaces of imbalance and unknown landscapes (physical and cultural) I can discover beauty emerging from devastation.
I discover how much diversity surrounds me in a patch of earth and in a single classroom. I share that wonder with someone. I understand more, often not always in human words, how and why this diversity of nature, and culture, is what ensures surviving, and more, thriving.
To "...emerge from the debris of human accomplishment." as Thylias Moss eloquently phrases it.
While bell hooks reminds,
"...to tend the earth is always then to tend our destiny, our freedom, and our hope."
At 10 years, I wish those of you who have been here with me traversing the world of Wings, Worms, and Wonder - since day one and those for whom this is day 1 - the space to envelop yourself in the bounty of nature's and culture's diversity.
Breathe in, Breathe out. I wish you time to creatively explore how the ancient keys inside us can open doors to an abundant ecologically intelligent future for generations to come.
I offer great thanks and credit to the scientists, authors, poets, and keepers of culture and nature who's words and knowledge offered within the collection of essays Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World, edited by Alison H. Deming & Lauret E. Savoy, inspired and informed the realizations for my anniversary musings on the experiences of cultivating Wings, Worms, and Wonder.
In the depths of the nature and culture housed in your being, what old keys could unlock new doors?
Share in the comments below!
Share photos of your creative nature connection adventures on Instagram @wingswormsandwonder
Seeds to Sprout:
Montessori Ukraine and I have translated the digital download version of the Wings, Worms, and Wonder
Nature Journal Prompt Cards for Children
The cards will be donated to children, schools, teachers, and families in Ukraine as part of Montessori UA's resources to aid in easing the trauma of war and displacement.
Nature as a Tool for Teaching Writing
I have a new webinar coming out in September with Trillium Montessori - and it is free!
Registration details coming in September!
the work of
Wings, Worms, and Wonder
Wings, Worms, and Wonder
Creative Nature Connection
resource that fits you best!