We would like to express deep gratitude to all who made our Silent Auction possible. A big thank you going out to the practitioners, artists, local businesses who gave so generously. You laid the foundation for a wonderful two weeks and a very successful auction. And, of course, all of you who bid during the auction, thank you!!!! We couldn’t have done it without you all, either! What a lovely intertwining of gifts and community this has been. TreeSong will receive $1,010! How fabulous! We will keep you apprised of the wonderful ways this will enrich the children’s nature programs (we’ll let you know about the adventure backpacks!). Big holiday blessings to all of you!
20 or so dear folks donated an amazing collection of their offerings (art, services, music…) to make for holiday shopping with a little extra heart! The combination of their generosity and unique gifts, along with the beauty of the mission the proceeds will support, create an experience that is rich with meaning, depth and connection.
The proceeds from the auction will go towards supporting the Children’s nature programs out at TS, with the focus being on purchasing items to put together nature adventure backpacks for children and families to use while visiting TreeSong. The goal is that each backpack will contain items that will aid them in their exploration of nature’s wonders (magnifying glass, mini-binocs, compass, flashlight, simple field guides, notebook…).
Our Silent Auction is in full swing and runs through the 14th.
Click on the following link to access the auction page:
Holiday blessings to you and happy bidding!
Writing into Our Years: A Wise Woman Winter Celebration of Aging with Dawn Thompson, Sunday, December 7, 1pm-4:30pm
Writing, Meditation, & Silence: A One-Day Winter Retreat with Sidra Quinn, Saturday, December 20, 10am-4pm
Click here for more info.
Sat., Nov. 1st, 5pm-10pm
Earth, Glaze & Fire (Vancouver’s wonderful paint-your-own ceramics studio) is throwing a party to celebrate TreeSong’s recent designation as an official Federal 501(c)(3) Non-profit!!!!
Come in and create your own holiday gifts, enjoy live music, nibble on delicious snacks, and support TreeSong as it enters its next exciting chapter of growth! All proceeds will be generously donated to TreeSong.
THIS JUST IN: Guitar and vocals by Heather Jolma, beautiful harp music by an amazing father/daughter duo, a RAFFLE for great gift certificates from uptown/downtown businesses (6:30-9:30pm), AND special E, G & F discounts (50% off flat/cookie cutter ornaments, !0% off all Christmas knick-knack decor).
HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US FOR THIS JOYFUL GATHERING!
by Daniel Crockett
Something is amiss and we can’t quite put our finger on what. It seems that the further our society progresses, the more disenfranchised we feel. The hyper-connectivity of social media (which has its own potential) leaves us cold and over-informed, saturated with unwanted information and more aware than ever of the injustices of the world. It seems that the more virtually connected we get, the more disconnected we become, both from each other but also from our communities. I believe that a necessary backlash to this trend is a large-scale reconnection with nature that has the ability to transcend previous environmental movements and reshape our world. Moreover, I believe this undercurrent is gaining momentum and influencing every element of our lives. It’s a revolution of belonging.
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, the curator and co-author of a book called Spiritual Ecology, summed it up by saying: “until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing.” For many people, this ‘image of separateness’ is permanent. The idea that they could be connected to a wider environment is completely entrenched. Technology, we seem to believe, remains the solution. Yet as Nancy Dess of the American Psychological Association states: “none of the new communication technologies involve human touch; they all tend to place us one step removed from direct experience.” However, my belief is that through connectivity, we have a powerful opportunity to learn. That is, to recognise authenticity. Neurologist Frank Wilson, author of The Hand, identifies the problem: “These young people are smart, they grew up with computers, they were supposed to be superior – but now we know that something’s missing.”
Cultural stories have an incredibly powerful influence on shaping society. As the philosopher Mark Rowlands says, “Humans are the animals that believe the stories they tell about themselves.” At this stage, many believe that we are between stories. We have been fed the myth of progress, of advancement, of increased technology. Yet what we have found is growing dissatisfaction with late-stage capitalism as a means to answer any substantial questions. And objectionable treatment of planet, of other humans, of animals are all now laid bare by social media. As Thomas Berry said, we are still ‘between stories.’ The importance of telling appropriate stories is best summed up by biologist and Biophilia author E.O. Wilson who stated: “A culture creates its present and therefore its future through the stories its people tell, the stories they believe, and the stories that underlie their actions. The more consistent a culture’s core stories are with biological and physical reality, the more likely its people are to live in a way compatible with ecological rules and thereby persist.” Currently, we aren’t even close.
As Chellis Glendinning pointed out: “we split our consciousness, repress whole arenas of experience, and shut down our full perception of the world.” And at no point is this more obvious than in the rise of social media. I believe we use social media to connect with the world, seeking to soothe a misplaced sense of longing we can’t quite understand. Similarly, the entirety of celebrity culture is based on a fundamental human yearning for acceptance. The private universes we are taught to inhabit serve core underlying business models. Stanley and Loy said: “By glorifying self-concern as never before, consumerism generates a mental environment of endless competition. It undermines empathy, altruism and cooperation. The dominant institution of our age is no longer religion, government or academia. It is the global business corporation.” The great undoing of our communities serves the few, not the many.
The greatest fear of disconnection with nature, and the widest response thus far, seems to be for children. At some point, society separates our young people from the natural world, reinforcing a doctrine that has been evolving for hundreds of years. There’s a transition point, before which the poet Anita Barrows confirms; “the infant has an awareness not only of human touch, but of the touch of the breeze on her skin, variations in light and colour, temperature, texture, sound.” Once we are walking and talking, the natural world appears to us in its full faculty. Philosopher David Abram, the founder of Wild Ethics, defines how we experience the world: “humans are tuned for relationship. The eyes, the skin, the tongue, ear and nostrils – all are gates where our body receives the nourishment of otherness.”
The response to this paucity in our society is starting to be clearly recognised. Pioneer writers such as Richard Louv (author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle) recognised that something was deeply wrong and started planning solutions. In America, the Child and Nature Network operates under the vision of: “A world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives.” Louv, who coined the term Nature-Deficit Disorder, co-founded their Nature Rocksinitiative. Meanwhile, in the UK, Project Wild Thing stands tall as the social organisation reconnecting children with nature.
Yet if children are the most obviously affected, this speaks volumes about our society, and how nature deficit most adults truly are. Thomas Berry made it clear that humans actually need to “identify with the nonhuman.” He firmly believed that children should be the guide to how our universe is experienced, but what about us adults? The strategic health advisor to Natural England, Dr. William Bird, has long been on record pointing out the connections between health and nature for children and adults alike. Adolescence and rites of passage into adulthood are forgotten. Paul Shepard made it clear that: “Western peoples are separated by many generations from decisions by councils of the whole, small-group nomadic life with few possessions, highly developed initiation ceremonies, natural history as every person’s vocation, a total surround of non-human-made (or “wild”) otherness with spiritual significance, and the “natural” way of mother and infant. All these are strange to us because we are no longer competent to live them – although that competence is potentially in each of us.”
I believe that this movement (whose many voices remain disparate) has the ability to unite a new generation, to dispel (to paraphrase Vaughan-Lee) our “image of separateness.” And the reason for this has to do with our own shared identity as children, something we all once were. George Mackay Brown puts it well: “We were all poets, and have squandered our inheritance like the prodigal son. But we have kept enough back to remember how immensely rich we were once, in our childhood, when poetry flowed in unchecked through our senses.” George Monbiot brings it back to the heart of the issue in his book Feral: “Of all the world’s creatures, perhaps those in greatest need of rewilding are our children. The collapse of children’s engagement with nature has been even faster than the collapse of the natural world.”
Wide-open spaces were my childhood and surfing has taken me to wilderness all over the world in search of empty waves. The wild is a voice that never stops whispering. It enters your pores by osmosis, and once it’s under your skin, good luck forgetting. The wild haunts the imagination, calling you back to places of vast sky and fast-running light, where solitude hunts for you and the edges of the world get ragged. These empty places are mirrors; they reflect back everything of yourself. They are teachers too, of a thousand lessons beyond anything our hands have made. Out there time stops walking, takes on different hues.
So what are we looking at here? The Great Turning as identified by Joanna Macy, a final push into the Ecozoic Era described by Thomas Berry, a mindful revolution of consciousness as advocated by the unlikely figure of Russell Brand? Neil Evernden highlighted the potential: “the really subversive element in ecology rests not on any of its more sophisticated concepts, but upon its basic premise: inter-relatedness.” Vaclav Havel went one step further: “without a global revolution in human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans.”
Being green in the United Kingdom still attracts a sort of stigma. I believe that the movement outlined here transcends the doom-and-gloom environmentalism of my lifetime and offers great potential. I also believe this ideology is leaking into the way we conduct business and govern our society. As Gus Speth, a US Advisor on climate change (must be a harrowing job) said: “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.” Therefore, more than ever, it comes down to you and I, to us.
Huffpost Lifestyle, United Kingdom
Sept. 5, 2014
We at TreeSong are wildly excited about this event! Dress up as a wild thing and join us for a day of running, walking, soaring through beautiful N. Bonneville park in the gorge. There will be fun and educational nature-based activities at stations along the approx. 1/2 mile path. There will also be live-music, engaging games, art activities, and so much more…A glorious day of nature fun for all ages!!!
Don’t miss it!
$10/adult, $5/child or $25/family (all proceeds to support TreeSong’s mission of nature connection and education)
Bring a lunch, if you like, and enjoy a picnic under the trees.
Registration begins at 9:30am, and the last journey around the park begins at 1:00pm. To pre-register (which is recommended) call Michelle at 360-619-2207 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For online registration, click here.
Run Wild! will be held at the N. Bonneville City Park, and encompasses the Bigfoot Discovery Trail. Click here to meet the Bigfeet and get directions to N. Bonneville. (While heading East on Hwy. 14, watch for signs for N. Bonneville, take the first right after driving under the railroad overpass. It’s at about mile post 39)
Saturday, July 19th, 7pm
preceded by potluck at 6pm
Daniel Sperry is a cellist, composer, and spoken word artist who has traveled the country offering a highly original program of luscious music and awe-inspiring poetry, woven together into a tapestry of experience that moves and touches his audiences. He will be sharing some of the pieces he calls “musical portraits”, as well as poetry from Rumi, Kabir, William Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye and others. This evening will be unlike anything you have experienced before!
Call Michelle at 360-619-2207 or email us at email@example.com to reserve your spot.
For more about Daniel, go to www.cellomansings.com
Tracking for Personal Safety
Sunday, July 13th, 10am-4pm
Enhance your hiking and wilderness skills in a one-day workshop, which will leave you safer, more observant and confident whether you hike with a group or alone. Hands on skills include being able to see tracks of humans and animals in Northwest forest duff, assessing a trailhead and your personal security, interfacing with large animals of all kinds, using effective defense methods and seeing more wildlife. Fieldwork will be physically easy and mentally challenging.
If you have already taken the first class you will benefit from this class because seeing sign in the step-by-step exercise changes as the seasons change. Added to this class will be more work on animal sign, animal field guides and other tools that help answer natural history questions. Your hikes can be enriched by the discovery of what animals have been there, how long ago, and what they were doing. The class will be designed to give the ongoing student more work in preparation for the August class.
Tracking for Practical Applications/Tracking Animals
Sunday, Aug. 3
Having taken one or both of Linda’s previous classes will ready students to participate in trailing work and an open book evaluation class in animal tracking. These two exercises are both a lot of fun. Normally tracking schools don’t get to these exercises for years because they take considerable skill. We will make a start in that direction by doing easier, safer versions of them. If new students want to join us, they will be assigned to advanced students who will mentor them through the exercises.
Cost: $50 per class (Discounted rate of $90 for both classes)
(Kids under 19 must be accompanied by a parent, under 12 will be considered on a case by case basis.)
To Register: Call Michelle, 360-619-2207, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor L. J. Hunter is the author of “Lonesome for Bears” Lyons Press 2008, a co-founder of the International Society of Professional Trackers and is certified by CyberTracker Conservation in Track and Sign, as well as by Universal Tracking Services in human tracking. Further experiences include man tracking for Search and Rescue interspersed with natural history studies and a former brown bear viewing guide in an outback Alaskan Lodge.
Today, June 21st, we celebrate one year of community-building, connection, learning and inspiration! A year that included Nature Education for kids (summer camps and two monthly, year-long TreeSong Circle Keepers groups); family events, such as Earthsinger concerts and a Storytelling event; Naturalist programs (native plant and tracking classes); writing, yoga and Soul Collage workshops; several cooking classes; concerts; a meditation and chanting night; family overnights; and countless other magical moments shared during informal gatherings (land-tending parties, etc.). Wow! We are off to an awe-inspiring beginning… And invite you to walk with us into a strong second year. Here’s an opportunity to do just that!
HOW YOU CAN CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT NATURE CONNECTION:
To celebrate TreeSong’s first birthday, each member of the Board has committed to setting up a monthly donation, helping to provide ongoing, steady support that is instrumental in sustaining a solid foundation. We would like to invite you to join us in this pledge. Our goal is to have at least 41 (that’s TreeSong’s address!) people sign up to make monthly donations by June 21st. Even what might seem like a small amount per month will be a glorious gift!
EACH MONTHLY PLEDGE WILL ENTER YOU TO WIN EITHER ONE TICKET TO SEE DANIEL SPERRY ON JULY 19th OR ONE FAMILY ADMISSION TO OUR JULY 26th RUN WILD EVENT!
Here’s what you do:
1. Click this link:
which will take you to our website’s Support TreeSong page.
2. There you will find a gold DONATE button which will take you to our secure PayPal page.
3. Enter a donation amount and click the “Make This Recurring (Monthly)” box and you are set! (FYI: There doesn’t seem to be a Recurring/Monthly box to check when using a smartphone, best to use a desktop or laptop computer.)
Thank you so!