Thursday, 1 August 2013

Where have I been? Somewhere awesome! Read on to hear more...

So as some of you know, I have been away and a little out of touch for the past 4 weeks while spending some time in the beautiful land of upstate New York. Aside from my usual summer adventuring, most of my time was spent teaching children, youth, and families some of the survival and wilderness skills used by our ancestors, through the Children of the Earth Foundation (COTEF). I always find it such an amazing experience to share these skills with people, and to reconnect folks with a way of life that is simple, powerful, and part of everyones history.
It was a CRAZY busy few weeks, which is why you haven't heard much from me the past month, but I have returned with new stories to share and inspirations to guide me further!

Although I have much to learn in the realm of survival and primitive skills, my journey thus far has changed my life for the better. There are many things that I love about these skills. The first that comes to mind is that in practicing these physical, spiritual, and awareness skills I found (and continue to find) the purest and strongest connection back to the earth and myself.

The second is that these skills have brought to me what I sought for so long: real and true freedom. There is nothing so empowering and freeing as knowing how to build a shelter, make a fire, and feed yourself without modern conveniences like the grocery stores. So many of us have that free spirit... the desire to be free of the modern and cultural constraints that we are bound by, and these skills are a doorway - in more ways than one.

Spending all of my time outdoors over the past few weeks has been such a gift. These days I am often tied up on the computer or in the studio, so even though I love what I do, I don't get to spend as much time outside as I would like to. The past 4 weeks I have been able to observe and feel the forest as it changes... I’ve watched as baby birds grew and left the nest, as flowers bloomed, wilted, and were replaced by sweet berries, and as different animals and insects passed through. And I got to eat lots of wild edibles, yum!

I did up a little insta collage for you of just a few highlights of those weeks. There's a short explanation of each photo at the bottom, if you want to know what's going on!

Photos (from left to right):
1. The first few days of just the staff being there, building our lodge
2. The lodge turtle almost complete
3. Bee loving the milkweed flowers, which smell amazing!
4. Baby birds, almost ready to fly
5. My fire kit - it's hard to see in this small picture, but if you look closely you can see the orange glow of a coal!
6. Getting camo'd up. Even the little ones got in on it!
7. Muddy and loving it... ready to hide
8. Reveling in dirt
9. How many COTEF kids are in this photo?
10. Cute little red eft! (They are slightly toxic - Bren washed his hands afterwards)
11. Lost child scenario - they found Timmy! 
12. Momma and her baby deer tracks
13. Debris hut with a stylish door
14. Brendan teaching the fire lecture - he just made a coal with a bow drill and is now trying to turn it into a fire
15. Fire!
16. Happy family cookout on the coals

What have you been upto in the great outdoors so far this summer? Doesn't have to be fancy, just getting outside for a walk in the park can lift your spirits! Are you interested in learning wilderness skills? (I don't want to speak too soon... but if you're in Nova Scotia you may find some workshops available this year!). Anyway, now that we're getting into August (already!) I'd love to hear your summer outdoor stories, whether it was canoeing, camping, yoga on the beach or anything in between!

Lots 'o lovin',

*Sidenote - I've moved the weekly postings to Thursday to fit better scheduling wise. Stay tuned :)

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