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Magic Moments… California Connections

It’s all about coming together…

Marcus Reynerson, Anake Outdoor School Coordinator…
We just returned from our annual Anake journey to California – 2500 miles, 6th year. After half of a school year of grounding themselves in our core 8 Shields curriculum, nature and community connection, we take our Anake students to other communities that are doing similar work, expressed through different people and a different landscape. It broadens their sense of the scope of the work we are doing; helps them see they aren’t alone…

It’s also powerful to travel together for 13 days on the road. This is the trip in which our Anakes really come together as a community, when the group mind and group heart show up. Annually, after this trip, we are really able to see the classes’ spirit. Before this trip, they were 31 individuals; afterwards they are really confident that they are a solid community now. The reasons why they are here are expanded beyond what they came for individually, for themselves. Trust has been built and this connection will be essential for their upcoming survival trip. They’ll spend two weeks together then, be together and be accountable; they can’t just go home…

Laura Gunion, Core Instructor…
The question is: How do we get them to really “show up,” have faith in this community? Leaps and bounds were covered on this trip – coming together, caring about each other, letting themselves be seen. Afterwards, some of the students told me that they experienced community on this trip in a way they’ve never felt before… You can hear it in their singing. They are singing together; there is unity in their voices. When we visit Regenerative Design Institute’s RDNA program, we have an annual tradition of our Anake students creating a song that represents our class and the Pacific Northwest, taking it to the RDNA community and singing it to them; they sing theirs to us. Their community opens up the gate and the two sister organizations come together. I was truly moved hearing the whole tribe singing powerfully, proudly, and eagerly in the dark across the gate to people that they hadn’t even met yet.

Mike Prince, Core Instructor…
We visited Quail Springs Permaculture in Southern California. It’s the high desert: dry, sunny, open, few trees. Paul Swenson led a traditional Chumash sunrise ceremony at the east edge of the garden area; honoring the role of the sun is a core routine for the folks at Quail Springs. Warren Brush, the co-founder, tells a lineage story about Ingwe, who is one of our founders, and sacred fire. The students see that they are in the exact opposite climate, and that the people are very similar.

Marcus…
With RDNA, we also had a ceremony to notch two friendship antlers, found there on a previous trip. They kept one, we took the other home, notched with the number of years of this ceremony…. Ripples of all these graduates coming through… What will this world look like when the antlers are all notched?

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John Chilkotowsky

About John Chilkotowsky

John is the Chief Storyteller for Wilderness Awareness School. He is a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program. See our Staff Biographies page to learn more about John.

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