It is summer in Virginia. The earth is made soft by a million autumns laying down carpets of gold, crumbled into black humus. Morning mist rises from the creek-bed. The wood thrush announces joy. The ruby-throated hummingbird peers in my kitchen window before she sips and veers away. Afternoon cicadas tune up for the evening performance. Human children join this forest community. They are just as tender and vulnerable, just as bursting with life force as their brothers and sisters, the furred, feathered and finned ones with whom they play, side-by-side. Each one of them needs our love and protection; we need their fresh hope.
Love, protection, freshness, hope. All of this is alive for the children, as they play barefoot in the garden, splash free in the creek. Days slip by in a primordial “here-ness, now-ness” Growth, exploration, new neural pathways, friendship, home-made meals, all are contained in the over-arching Presence of the living forest.
Soon, we will be joined by families coming from as far away as San Francisco and Florida, as well as those coming from a few miles down the road. For five days we will put our lives together, alongside the lives of the woodland creatures, and together we will all know something new!