I teamed up with the Year 1 Instructor and my Year 2's and I asked my colleagues at Willow Early Learning to lead a day on connecting with nature and using nature to extend curriculum (like math and science and social studies).
These colleagues are my friend Emily and Kate and they will soon be opening the first Nature Preschool on the land at Terra Nova (message me if you want details!) and they are experts on being in nature with children.
We spent the morning on the land, walking, noticing, discussing how to allow children to take risks, how to allow ourselves to be stretched as Educators to give children safe freedom to explore the natural world, to pay attention, to embrace this moment, be present.....
And as with almost every intentional time spent in nature it was powerful and profound.
Not just for the students some of whom had never been on this land and for whom today will have been life changing.
But for me too.
I had my camera with me mostly to document this historic moment for Willow Early Learning but also to capture some moments with my students outside the classroom.
I went with no intention of capturing the land.....I have done that in Spring and Summer, even Fall, and here we are in mid-Winter, drab and brown and dead.......
Until Emily challenged all of us to embrace this season.....to acknowledge the necessity of dormancy and seasons of rest for the land, to appreciate this time and not rush through it to Spring.
I lifted my camera to my eye and looked through the actual lens again but also through a new lens, a lens looking for beauty in the barren landscape...... and there it was......just waiting to be seen.