My Scottish Adventure were set in the Kingdom of Fife, at the Centre of Stewarship. Beautiful land expressing itself through pastures, meadows, woodlands & plantations. A landscape to match every emotions that we may hold.
I took part to a program called the Art of Mentoring which is about giving an experience, a sense of what it is like to be living as a member of a caring village and find out what ingredients are needed to create this village (Ring 1) and practising nature connection beyond educational and recreational processes but through deep connection; by developing our senses through play, mentoring and the support of the village (Ring 2).
This year, I was a participant of the Ring 2 and I have returned from my Scottish Adventure with the ingredients necessary for deep nature connection, to be shared in my work as a Forest School Leader.
The magic that I sensed was supported by the fact that we were invited not to use watches or mobile phones; a rare opportunity that I fully embrace, hence the lack of photos ;O)
By giving us the time to 'wipe off the road dust', easing ourselves into the program, subtly and surely.
By not knowing what would happen from one moment to the next. I surrendered in the trust of our 'Acorn' team who were versed in the principles of 'the village'.
Play - Development of our senses & reconnecting with what it feels like to be playing like a child
I played many games in the woods over my time with the Ring 2 tribe. One game building onto another, developing, sharpening our senses and creating other modes of communication as we played along innocently. In order to do so, we played games which involved removing of sense of sight,observing, understanding, imitating animals in their environment.
All that play culminated in having a full night in the woods without artificial light playing Capture the Flag across the landscape of the Centre of Stewardship. From dusk to dawn, no sleep, just putting in practice our newly sharpened senses, the best experience in my life: close encounter with wildlife, meeting my fears & having a laugh at my imagination conjuring the most amazing and scary scenes with the landscape, making our fire camp and sustaining small enough to hardly be seen in the night.
Reconnecting with what it feels like to be playing like a child, helped me to understand and develop empathy for the children I am working with; reconnecting with the processes of play and the emotions that it brings.
It is about catching each other 'Story of the day', what has moved us, being listened to deeply and being asked questions to further our experience. A rare occurring in our modern lives, when in average it takes 17 seconds for the listener to cut through with a comment.
The Story of my Day, at times, has reveled vulnerability. I realised that my vulnerability in my sharing allowed other to get in touch with theirs. And I know for a fact that that is gift we can bring to others in our lives.
The respect the listener had when listening to my story coming back from my night in the woods was palatable. In having received such a gift, I was able to return the gift when I became the listener, a humbling and nurturing role in the same time, hence acquiring tools in support of my village, understanding that I was becoming a mentor for the good health of the village.
Experiencing nature with all these ingredients allowed me to connect with myself in many levels, wholesomely; as we are mirror to each other as we are part of a village, nature too acts as a mirror; bringing gently us home, finding our essence and all that makes life.
The skills acquired and sharpened during my time in the Scottish hills need to be practised to sustain and develop them. I am proud to be able to bring these skills in my work as a Forest School leader.
~ Victoria ~
Tide Forest School for girls