The chill of fall in the air draws us near to the fire

Our last two weeks at Robin Circle have given us quite a chill, and not in a bad way!

On our last October meeting, the freezing rain made us move, and remember to double up on the wool socks. To keep warm, we began the day with a game of hug tag in the shelter behind Chautauqua auditorium.

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As usual, we followed our HOSSA (highly organized, seemingly spontaneous activity) with our thanksgiving ritual and the singing of the Robin Circle song. Then, to warm up, we got the charcoal grill going and had the opportunity to roast some DELICIOUS vegan marshmallows over the hot coals. In order for each girl to receive her marshmallows, she had to answer a question posed by the gatekeeper Trevanna. Girls named different Colorado bird species, thought about some of the wilderness survival skills that we have learned so far this year, and answered questions about how we can better take care of ourselves.

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Each girl found a stick to roast their marshmallows, and I observed the uniqueness of each of them as I saw some toasting their sweets to golden perfection, others shoving the sugary treat right into the coals until it caught fire and burned to a crisp! No matter how they enjoyed their marshmallow, everyone loved them!

Then we were able to follow our dessert with a nutritious snack of sliced zucchini cooked on flat sandstone rocks in coconut oil. Many of the girls were surprised that this green veggie wasn’t so bad after all!

We closed circle by sharing a rose, a bud and a thorn of the day. A rose is something that went well, or that was enjoyed that day. A bud was something that was learned. A thorn was something that didn’t go so well or wasn’t enjoyed. Most of the girls’ thorns was the chilly weather and lack of layers!!

Despite the chilly and wet day we had, the fire brought us closer together than ever!!

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Then this week, with the warning of another chilly day, the girls arrived more prepared than the week before with gloves, hats, boots and coats.

We continued our tradition of thanksgiving and song, but this week we sang a new song lead by Ann Spider. Here are the lyrics:

Let us see the Beauty everyday and source our lives from its presence
Let us see the Beauty everyday and source our lives from its presence

I want to know if you can see the beauty. Even though it isn’t pretty everyday.
I want to know if you can see the beauty. Even though it isn’t pretty everyday.

During snack, we also got to hear a special story from Imogen, who discovered a little deer antler in her front yard! What a wonderful find, and thanks Imogen for sharing!!

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After we sang, we made a long-awaited trip back to the Robin’s nest where we spent our first day of Circle! The girls played on the rocks, explored the world around us and admired the beauty of the fairy’s house.

Following our session of wild play, Ann framed an activity we call “sit-spot where we each find a place to sit and observe nature around us and think or meditate on something. She asked us to close our eyes and imagine ourselves as rooted into the ground, becoming a part of and sourcing energy from the land. The girls imagined this connection and during sit spot, were able to fully become a silent part of that nature.

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After sit-spot, the girls ran up the hill and posted up on another rock where we continued our discussion about fire. Arielle began the conversation talking about how fire can be a scary thing, but it is also a warming natural force that is necessary for life and helped to create the universe! We each shared something about fire that made us feel safe and warm, or something that scared us. We heard stories about flaming toaster ovens, and calming images of sitting around a fire with family.

Noelle warmed our hearts more by sharing a beautiful song that her mother learned while growing up in Canada. This traditional campfire song is usually sung in rounds and originated in Canada!

Fire’s burning, fire’s burning

Draw near, draw near,

In the glowing, in the glowing

Come sing and be merry

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After we sang, the girls from Hawk Circle surprised us with warm mugs of hot cocoa that they had prepared for us! The girls sipped on their treat while we played for our last few minutes of circle.

Until next week, think about the role that fire plays in our lives, and how it can be used as a force for warmth and protection, or a force of damage and destruction. Nature is an endlessly compassionate force, though she can be ruthless at times. How have humans come to terms with this contrast throughout history?

Stay warm!

<3,

Arielle Nuthatch, Ann Spider and Katie Hummingbird

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