This past weekend we wrapped up our 21st long-term immersion program. When we started in August I had big plans about blogging every day, but the realities of field school life intervened and I only posted twice during the course. There were lots of great moments, from the weasel who lived under my tent and woke me up by running across my chest one morning, to seeing a two year old bear less than 150 yards from the guide shack, to our new student village we named Ewokadelphia (sounds like Philadelphia, but replace the phil with ewok – long story).
Now I’m back in the world and have a lot of catching up to do. There are emails and phone calls to answer, websites to update, photos to post, and many other tasks that have been neglected for too long. But I wanted to provide a snapshot of what field school life is like, so I direct your attention to the photo for this post. I took it about two weeks ago. It was a beautiful fall day, and we had poled down Blackwater River and were paddling down St. Croix Stream. There are only natural materials in the photo; the wood of my canoe, the brown ash of the pack basket, the leather straps, and the natural world beyond. This encapsulates the lessons we strive to teach. Through skillful use of working with natural materials, create something useful, functional and beautiful. A basket, a canoe, a life.
It’s good to be back.