Last Day Of Forest School
Posted by Eva Sivill on Jun 5, 2017
June 1st was the last day of "Early Ecology", the Forest School where I have been volunteering since last October. There were 16 children at the fox class that day. First time that they were all together. They were very excited and sad at the same time. Parents came at 11am to do a potluck with all children and teachers together. There was a little bit of that bittersweet energy from when something ends but something else is about to begin. We had talked about the meaning of new beginnings when the Spring arrived in the Forest: the birds weaving their new nests, the forget me nots blooming, the robins catching warms, the stellar jays flying closer and closer, but it's not the same when you are 5 and you have to let go of something that you really love to start something new and unknown. Some foxes are becoming coyotes next fall, and they'll do kindergarten in the Forest but some are leaving the Forest for good to go to a kindergarten class in a regular school.
Thursday was also a very special day because Perla and Yordi were there too. Two latino kids who had been attending Forest School for 3 months and who were invited to join the school as a way to integrate diversity and cultural wealth to the program. They came back to spend the last day in the Forest with their friends, who hadn't seen them in a while. Their parents stopped bringing them because of complicated lives and working many hours. Perla's parents came for a while on Thursday too, but Yordi's parents couldn't make it since his mum, who was the only one who could drive him to the Forest has found a job cleaning houses that doesn't allow her to spend time driving to the woods, so I offered myself to pick him up and bring him back. Yordi's mum showed up at the door of her house at 8:20am with an amazing big bowl of fruit: oranges, mangos and strawberries. Yordi had the biggest smile ever. During the potluck the big bowl of fruit received so many compliments. Everyone could feel the gratitude, the love and the presence of that family without physically being there. The rest of the foxes received Yordi and Perla as the time has never gone by and they climbed trees, climbed up and down the hills, got wet in the creek and played Mr. Fox together. At the end of the day the photo album of the school year appeared and Yordi and Perla froze. They spent some time looking quietly at the beautiful album that teacher Debi made for all the families. And there, they felt it, they felt that they are a part of the Forest School, and that their presence and contributions had been a gift for all of us.
The same day that night, the teachers received a text message from a fox mum:
" Dearest Fox Teachers,
tonight I witnessed my daughter for the first time become overwhelmed with grief from the loss of something truly special to her. Her heart is aching as she senses the end of a very important moment in her life. " I want to be a fox and stay with my friends and teachers in the forest forever". It took all that I had not to break down with her ( she stops crying if I start) because I wish that for her too. I just want to say that I am infinitely grateful to every one of you for the love, energy, patience you poured into our children. They are deeper, kinder, wiser being because of you. The places these children will go and the people they will help because of the lessons they have learned from your warmth and guidance in the classroom of Nature are boundless. And Miss Maddie, my dear sweet deep souled, blue-eyed girl thanks you and loves you with all of her big beautiful heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you, love and light always. "
May we all find the way to Nature, the way to be who we truly are and the way to cultivate wisdom, courage, kindness and love. A deep bow to all the teachers, specially the fox teachers in the Forest who have given me the opportunity to be in service to children and learn from them and Mother Earth.