sweet connection...


 I've been teaching a class this week, that has taken me full circle back to the reasons why I became a Park Ranger years ago, and ultimately why I also became an educator. A young girl joined our group, having only just moved to the U.S. (from South Korea) 3 weeks ago. When I say that she was immobilized by fear & anxiety because of the language barrier, it would be an understatement...I just don't have the language to explain how much anguish she experienced early in the week. On Days 1-3 she wasn't even able to make it through the first hour before needing to be collected by her (very loving & patient) mother (also experiencing the crazy language barrier).

On Day 4, I scrapped the plan, and took us where I've often seen major transformations take place....outside, into nature. We all walked together, collecting small gifts from flowers and trees, feathers, seed pods, and spent some time with some baby geese at a nearby pond. I was watching this child closely, and could see the weight lifting....by the time we returned, she was smiling and able to make eye contact. This morning when her mother dropped her off, she pulled me aside and showed me several photos on her phone....the only words her mother said were "yesterday, after." What I saw in the photos was that this child had taken home the objects we collected on the walk, and made beautiful (framed!) collages that were now hanging on their walls, and resting on bookshelves. She had even tucked sprigs of lavender and rosemary into various nooks and crannies around the house. Her mother's eyes filled with tears as she scrolled through the photos, which of course triggered my own.

It turns out that happy-crying requires no translation ❤️



Full early in the morning,

awakes the summer sun. 

The month of June arriving, 

the cold and dark are done. 

The cuckoo is a fine bird, 

she whistles as she flies. 

And as she whistles "cuckoo", 

the bluer grow the skies.