essenheal at iname.com
Mon Jun 19 18:05:02 EDT 2000
Dear List Members:
I am about to embark with a small group of youth to my little piece of
heaven in Colorado. There are two 17 year old girls in the group that have
made this trip for the past 4 years and I'm running out of 'new' to teach
Most of the youth in my groups have been females, and I've noticed there
seems to be a 'new' type of feminist emerging. No longer the bra-burners,
but the young women who feel they can be feminine and also exert
themselves. I'm not saying the feminists of the 60's-70's weren't
feminine, but others seemed to percive us in this manner. The emerging
feminist I see knows who they are, are strong young women and are committed
to their children and the land. They nurture and have a strong commitment
to the future. As I've seen things, the young women today are making more
of the decisions as to where and how they live, whether it be with a mate
or alone. They seem to have more interest and commitment to returning to a
more nature-based way of life.
Over the past years, I have worked with these two girls in particular, they
were both city girls, one from a 'bad' family, no father, mother took in
drunken/drugged mates, was content with paying the way just to have a man
and was content to be a waitress, have fallen arches and carpal tunnel
syndrome, rather than educate herself beyond her highschool diploma, even
though she could have. The other young girl comes from a very stable
family, her parents are both teachers, but she had never ventured more than
50 miles from home and was very protected.
I see these two girls from very different backgrounds come together and
meld their minds and personalities as though they have always been
together. They were in awe the first time they ever saw the sun set over
the Rockies, in more awe when they saw for the first time in their lives,
stars and planets in the blackness of the night with no surrounding city
lights to obscure the view. I taught them how to camp and hike, build a
fire, forage for roots and grow their own food. How to make soap and
shampoo from wild Sweet William and a little borax and hot water.
They have worked with me, side by side, clearing silt from the ravines and
hauling it to mulch garden beds, they have learned how to truly listen and,
in the silence, hear nature. They have learned how to feel subtle energies
coming from the earth, people, animals and to sense the energy flows around
them. They know how to make 'pottery' from clay they've dug and added sand
to, how to color their tiles with plant decoctions, how to cultivate and
reforest and restore. They can make their own adobe bricks and build
beautiful monuments, walls, fireplaces and ovens.
They know native plants and their importance to the land, how to use them
for tea, food, medicine, how to wildcraft with integrity and always put
What more can I teach them? Or, should I now begin to learn 'from' them?
They will spend the next three weeks living with the land, they have
courage. It's hot now in the high mountain desert, but very cold at night.
They used to be afraid of the cows, now they respect the mountain lion and
the bear with her cubs.
There's a traditional sweat lodge happening about 200 miles north of us
that will incorporate the teachings of the Stone Clan People. Should I
take them there for a new experience, will it be too much for them? They
also go to the HerbFest with me in Iowa and have endured grueling volunteer
schedules at the botanical sanctuary in Ohio and re-developing the wetlands
in a state park near us.
I love working with the youth, especially the girls with their high hopes
and their fears of tomorrow, I don't want to push them too hard. Any
suggestions? What would you teach them if you could? I need to know this
before Wednesday and would truly appreciate all input.
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