Thank you to all artists and buyers who sponsored our 1st Guardians For Nature project, by donating to our fundraiser “Origins” in October.
Return To Origin Trainee Leaders, spent the day with 13 youth aged 10-13 years old at Silvermine Nature Reserve from the Vryground communities in Cape Town. After a breakfast of warm milk, bananas and muffins, Arnoldt Micheals began with a simple teaching in Sacred Reciprocity. An offering was made to nature to keep us safe and protected and to thank nature for all the offerings it gives to us. Afterwards each child chose an animal card and acted out their animals. Arnoldt then led them in a simple but profound teaching of letting go, asking the children one thing they wanted to let go of this year. They spoke this into a bowl of water. Beautiful and moving sharing occurrd. Afterwards we invited them to sit in silence for 5 minute mini sit spot, by a tree and listen. They each brought back a small piece of dead wood which we then tied together. Together with wood and water they released this into the dam. Afterwards we regrouped to talk about what quality they would take on of their animal, strength, courage, and stillness were some of the qualities mentioned.
Lindsay Burch then introduced the children to tracking- a simple context of footprints in the sand and the story that went with it. We then walked in nature and the youth were asked to find items such as a stone or a flower a leaf and even poop!. We explored the item and the youth told a story about each item. The poop story became interesting as it showed us what the animal had eaten and it gave the youth an opportunity to track the story of the animal. Another asimple teaching in understanding how the plant ( for example) began how it is visited by a bee. This simple realizations helped the children to make simple connections to the natural world.
They all received a Return To Origin notebook and Lindsay guided them to start tracking where they lived, letting them know they could track anywhere. Trees and birds, cats or dogs and write down daily what they saw and heard. A journal was born!
Angelique Michaels created a blindfold exercise where the youth used the senses of touch and smell, trying to guess what they touched or smelt and where they were. The children then related their findings in the larger group. The finale was an amazing collage of natural items, glued on to a piece of recycled cardboard to form the most incredible pictures they could take home. They told us the story of their collages. Most of them did Christmas trees. Afterwards we had hotdogs, apples, cookies, chocolates and pulled christmas crackers. When asked about their day they mostly said happy, some said excited others just said thank you. It was a truly beautiful time with the youth and thanks to Shaun Solomons who manages Projects Abroad ( teaching underserved children to surf) for arranging for the children to come. Return to Origin intends to work with the same group of children for the year. Introducing them to many different aspects of nature, believing that the more they learn about the natural world, the more connected they become to themselves in Nature, the more they will grow to not only love nature but also themselves. Eventually they may begin imparting their own love of nature to others in their community creating a circle of reciprocity. What you love you protect.
PLEASE support us by going to the donate page www.returntoorigin.org.za so we can continue this work or contact Mbali Marais, Return to Origin founder, email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and how to donate. Thank YOU, we depend on YOU to continue and be a part of this work.